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NFL 2023 Fan of the Year |

Detroit Lions


Denise Ford

Denise Ford is a 69-year-old Detroit-native who has been supporting the Lions for years, despite being unable to make it to Ford Field for many games. Instead, Denise started hosting weekly tailgate parties in the common area of her apartment building, for other seniors in the community and their loved ones. Each week, they all contribute their favorite tailgate dish, and one of their family members loans them a TV so the group can cheer on the Lions together. Complete with music, dancing and lots of laughs, Denise's tailgate parties create joy and camaraderie around a shared love of Lions football.
With a heart for service, Denise started a non-profit group called "Saving Our Kids" more than 40 years ago. It focuses on growing the relationship with children and their parents, and provides families free tickets to local sporting events and attractions in an effort to keep Detroit's kids out of trouble. Denise will graduate college from Wayne State University with a degree in African Studies this spring, alongside both her daughter and granddaughter.
Denise is a proud Detroit Lions fan and continues to cultivate fandom throughout the community and the next generation.