Question of the Week is a weekly feature here where we take a cross-section of opinions from Detroit Lions players and coaches (and sometimes opponents) about a singular topic. Most of the time, they have nothing to do with football. Have a suggestion for a question? Email: email@example.com.
Previous Questions of the Week.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- We all remember the first time we did something we loved, whether it was playing a sport, reading a book or participating in a hobby.
For the Lions, the first football memory can be an important one. In some cases, it can teach a lesson. In others, it brings laughter of memories when everything about the game was innocent and new.
So the question for this week: What is your first football memory?
Wide receiver Jeremy Ross: "When I played for the San Francisco Seahawks, Pop Warner. Caught a touchdown. I think I ran probably a 12-yard hook route. Caught it with my body like boom, spun to my left. I got a real good memory. I was nine years old."
Wide receiver Kris Durham: "First one playing, when I was 7, there was an 8-,9- and 10-year-old league and my uncle was one of the coaches. He would let me come, it was almost like a redshirt year, he would let me come and practice with them. He would let me go out there and I would have to take my licks, my bumps and bruises and he’d get me out there. He got me out there and practiced with the whole team and got my own jersey. It was the Cowboys. Just the Cowboys. In Calhoun, Georgia."
Offensive guard Rodney Austin: "Just remember going to my big cousin’s football games when I was little and playing with all the other kids who were too small to be out there or too young to be out there and just begging my mom to put me on the team and just letting me go. The next year, I was out there. I was five or six years old in St. Louis. I was one of the bigger kids. I ended up starting to play before they really allowed starting to let kids play. I was so big that I was six and I was starting on the seven-eight year old team. It was pretty awesome."
Right tackle Corey Hilliard: "I’m from New Orleans, so it would have to be something with the Saints. Probably my dad just yelling at the TV. That might not be true. In ’92 the Saints actually went to the playoffs. They actually had a good year that year. I was seven or six. That’s probably the earliest memory I have of the Saints. I was big into kicking things, so I liked the punter, Tommy Barnhardt. Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, those guys. Bobby Hebert, those guys, too."
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky: "Probably the first football memory that sticks in my head is my dad just teaching me the game. I originated in flag football and one of the first memories that sticks out, I was playing quarterback in flag football. I threw it and I think I was eight, someone smacked my arm and I remember tearing up and my dad kind of taking me behind a car and talking to me about it. Kind of verbalizing expressing toughness and how there was a big difference between being hurt and being injured. In that moment, changing my view on what it was to be tough and how it was to be tough for your teammates. Mainly just my dad teaching me."
Cornerback Rashean Mathis: "When I was younger and my grandmother wouldn’t let me play football because she said I was too small. That was the first thing I have. The other memory that sticks out the most, I was in the 10th grade and my brother was in the 12th grade and he was the star of the football team. He told me that I should quit because I wasn’t taking football seriously. That triggered something in me and I started taking football seriously after that."
Right guard Larry Warford: "I was playing flag football as a running back. I used to be a running back. Then I got meningitis and I couldn’t play anymore. Real talk. I got spinal meningitis and couldn’t play anymore. I was in second grade, I think. It was crazy."
Reporter: You know you can die from that, right?
Warford: "Yeah, I learned that in 2008. I didn’t know how serious it was until I was 16 or 17. I was talking to my uncle about it and he said, 'You know you can die from that, right?' I was like ‘What?’ "
Reporter: Did you do anything as a running back?
Warford: "I had a 70-yard touchdown run called back because I stiff-armed a little kid. I didn’t know you couldn’t do that. I straight bodied that kid. After that, I got meningitis. I only played like two games of the six-game season."
Offensive tackle Michael Williams: "My very first touchdown. I actually played running back and my mom missed the previous game so I came back and I knew she missed the game so I told her that I scored. I didn’t score, though. It was just a joke. So she comes to the next game and in my mind, I’m like, I have to score. So I scored. That was how it went. I was seven. The Pickens County Tornadoes."
Cornerback Cassius Vaughn: "My first year in little league in Memphis. I played for the North Memphis Chiefs. I was a D-end, six years old. D-end. I got a little faster, played a little quarterback. I just liked running the ball so I kind of migrated to the offensive side and it went from there. Full-tackle. Helmet, shoulder pads, all of that. We were out there tackling, man. Running real plays."