In the August of 2020, I received a DM Instagram from Martin, our co-host on the podcast. This isn’t usually news, but it contained something that made me incredibly excited. In my 6 years of following the Lions and learning about Detroit, I never knew Detroit had its own style of pizza. When did this happen? Martin’s message was even more of a revelation than justly finding out Detroit had its own style of pizza, it was a post from a brand new restaurant that had opened roughly 5 miles away. A dedicated Detroit style pizza restaurant 'Corner Slice MCR'.
At the end of the month, when my fiance and I had been paid, we ventured over to Failsworth in Manchester and went to said new restaurant and all I can say is - no other pizza tastes the same anymore. It’s all just a little disappointing.
Detroit style pizza obviously excites me as someone who admires the wonderful city of Detroit from 3,000+ miles away but as previously mentioned - I didn’t even know it existed until August. Detroit style pizza is barely mentioned in the UK, we are pizza lovers but the only ‘styles’ I’ve ever really heard of have been ‘New York’ and ‘Chicago’. However, since I first stumbled upon Detroit style pizza 9 months ago, it’s become a bit of a craze. 2 more restaurants have opened in Manchester, 1 is in London, 1 in Nottingham and there’s someone in Bristol making them as well, among other pizzas. Even Asda are now selling their own frozen Detroit style pizzas. What is the sudden fascination with Detroit style pizza in the UK?
You might be sat here wondering why I’m writing an article about Detroit style pizza. Is it because I have nothing better to do? Possibly. I also see a bit of an opportunity here for Lions fans, or even Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers fans. Here’s why:
Though we are currently finding that the Lions are not the least supported NFL team, we understand that Detroit isn’t the most attractive city in the States from an outsiders perspective. We also have to come to terms with the fact that success isn’t exactly a driving force in any influx of international fans for Detroit based teams. International fans of the Lions and other Detroit sports teams all have a story, a reason why they chose to adopt the city of Detroit other than just ‘they were successful’.
Despite being the home of Motown and Ford, gravitating to Detroit when you’re not from there can be a difficult task. Detroit style pizza is a gateway, an introduction to the great city of Detroit.
When before, Detroit may not have even been a top 10 thought before, if even a thought. Detroit now sits pretty in the minds of anyone who manages to try the rectangular heaven that is, Detroit style pizza. With the rate at which football is growing over here in the UK, it’s a good chance for the Lions to become a team that people gravitate to. While the lack of success isn’t drawing people in, the seemingly new and improved franchise is sure to spark the interest of anyone beginning to make in-roads into the NFL.
As Lions fans, and for us as Roar of the Lions, we should continue to shout loud and proud about our fan base and continue to be the warm and welcoming individuals that we are to any potential newcomers that we may see. The further this fan base grows, the better the market looks for the Lions here, in turn, meaning we are more likely to see the Lions play a game over here, or even do some more fan engagement events.
The growth of Detroit style pizza may just seem like a cool phase for the country to be going through, and this may come across as some pretentious crap and drivel that I’m plucking out of my arse. But, I’m confident that this craze can become a great opportunity to introduce the British public to what a great city Detroit really is and grow our amazing fanbase even further.
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