1957 NFL Champion Detroit Lions Reunion 

“Build Them and They Will Come”

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Lions last NFL championship team. Aside from the on field miracles of Barry Sanders there has been very little else for the Lions organization to celebrate since 1957.  

For the past several years a whispering but growing mystical message from high above has resonated within the headquarters of the Detroit Lions: 

“Build a supply of glorious silver, 1950’s flared ear six point suspension helmets with bolted on brown dipped vintage steel cage style facemasks or non angled plastic one bars.” “ Complete these special beacons to the past with the original 1” gold (with black trim) rear helmet numerals that reflected the heroes from their golden years of the 1950’s when they dominated the decade.” 

The aforementioned subtle messages from the football Gods had now intensified into a true lion like roar that could no longer be ignored. Try as they might (Milt Plum, Joe Don Looney, Pat Swilling, Scott Mitchell, Charles Rodgers) the Lion’s were never able to solve their problems with their attempts at conventional roster upgrades. Something more mystical was required to lift the now half century old curse. The Lion organization contacted their old friends at Helmet Hut (see Paper Lion reunion) to seek their assistance.


VP Tom Lesnau  &  Yale Larry

 Joe Schmidt  &  VP Tom Lesnau


Gerald Perry

                             Ken Russell

Almost thirty stunning iconic silver helmets were completed, identical to the formula that the football Gods had requested, and delivered to a special meeting room in the Detroit suburbs just prior to last weekend’s Lions game at Ford Field. Almost instantly, like a religious pilgrimage, the 1957 champions began to appear. As they limped and hobbled towards the entrance they were instantly invigorated upon their arrival by seeing their former war bonnets again. It was as if they had finally discovered their very own “fountain of youth” after a lifetime search.

58 Lions (clockwise from top) - Charly Anne - Howard Cassidy - Tobin Rote, Yale Larry

A weekend of festivities and celebration followed. At halftime of Sunday’s game the former champions were paraded on field before a subdued but respectfully cheering crowd that were too young to personally remember 1957 but certainly old enough to feel too many of the years of football frustration that has prevailed for the last fifty years in Detroit. The current Lions responded with a surprising victory over their long time rival and last year’s Super Bowl participant Chicago Bears.

Has the Detroit Lions curse been finally lifted? Only time and the football Gods really know. As Sunday’s celebration neared completion and all of the former Lion champions were sharing their final handshakes the huge replay screen flashed an unscheduled message acknowledging both the 1957 Lions and their helmet making partners. No one is quite sure who sent their appreciation to us but we all agree that it is wise to promptly comply with any request sent from high above.