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Hope in the Unseen

In beating the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Detroit Lions broke a 19-game losing streak. One thing we're trying to figure out is, why have the Lions' most ardent fans remained, despite the team's abysmal performance over the last 21 months? In the Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom explains the significance of yesterday's victory. Here's an excerpt:

And, suddenly, Ford Field was Lourdes. Wounds were washed clean. Souls were healed. Fans and players, some near tears, thanked each other for enduring. It was as if some mystical prison doors had been sprung, and everyone was getting to go home. At long last, after a game, Detroit players did something they'd forgotten about doing since Dec. 23, 2007.

They smiled.

And be sure to check out Pride of Detroit, a Lions fan blog managed by a University of Michigan student, Sean Yuille.

Anyway, here's my TIME story, one of first I've written on sports. It wouldn't have come together without help of TIME's sports authority, Sean Gregory.

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