Lions fans were all smiles as they waited to enter Ford Field. For those who couldn’t secure tickets, there was a tailgate near the stadium at Eastern Market, a collection of shops and restaurants in a neighborhood that bears the same name.
Ron Crachiola, who is known as Crackman, was among those attending the tailgate. Mr. Crachiola said that he started going to games with his father 60 years ago, and that they had watched far more losses than wins but never lost faith. He said he wished his father, who died in April at age 95, could see the Lions fighting for a Super Bowl berth. On Sunday, Mr. Crachiola wore a necklace with a photo of his father on it.