Michigan Goes Honolulu Blue: Celebrating the NFL Draft in Detroit

Michigan will be a (Honolulu) Blue state next Thursday, the first day of the National Football League Draft in Detroit.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared the day “Honolulu Blue Day” in Michigan, her office said Friday. She’s urging every Michiganian to don apparel with the official colors of the Detroit Lions football team, Honolulu Blue and Silver to celebrate and show their support for the pride.

“As we bring the NFL Draft home to Detroit, I am proud to officially declare Honolulu Blue Day in Michigan,” the governor said in a statement. “As we kick off the NFL Draft in Detroit, I encourage every Michigander to loudly and proudly rock their Honolulu Blue.”

The team’s color goes back to 1934 when it had its first season in Detroit. Legend says George Richards, the Lions’ owner at the time, chose it for the team’s uniforms after taking a vacation in Hawaii and seeing the Pacific Ocean’s unique shade of blue. He also chose the team’s name because he said it would be king of the league the way the lion is king of the jungle.

Throngs of NFL fans are expected to descend on Detroit’s downtown next week for the 2024 draft, when the league’s 32 teams will select their newest recruits.

The draft officially begins at noon Thursday and runs through 6 p.m. Saturday. It will be held in Campus Martius and Hart Plaza.

Whitmer said Michigan is home to some of the best stories in football, including the University of Michigan Wolverines winning the national championship this past season and the Lions becoming “America’s team as they fought their way to their first NFC Championship Game in 32 years.”

She added she is excited hundreds of thousands of fans will be coming to Detroit to experience draft week.

“I know they will have a great time exploring the city,” Whitmer said. “Let’s celebrate our teams, our city, and show the world what Michigan is all about.”

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist also expressed his excitement that this year’s NFL draft is being held in Detroit, his hometown.

“Detroit is the greatest city in the world,” he said. “The 2024 NFL Draft will spotlight Detroit’s dynamic culture, athletics, attractions, landmarks, and resilience as a place of endless possibility and innovation. This draft isn’t just about football. It’s about our future. (Gov. Whitmer and I) hope every Detroiter and (Michigan resident) enjoys what Detroit has to offer during the 2024 Draft. Go Lions!”

Others will also be joining in the celebration.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has also declared next Thursday “Honolulu Blue Day” in the city.

“Detroit Lions players brag all the time that Detroit has the greatest football fans anywhere,” the mayor said in a statement. “They proved it during the Lions’ amazing playoff run last season, even showing up in huge numbers in opposing teams’ territory. This is a chance for Lions fans to show their pride in the heart of downtown as the eyes of the world are on our city once again.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan officials said Thursday the health insurer’s iconic headquarters building will be lit up with a blue and white football beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in honor of the NFL Draft and the Lions.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joins the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan in welcoming football fans from near and far to the Motor City for the highly anticipated NFL Draft, which offers a prime opportunity to showcase our great city to the nation,” Daniel Loepp, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “As a company proudly headquartered in Detroit throughout our 85-year history, we couldn’t be more thrilled to join in the festivities by lighting our office tower in the team colors of our beloved Detroit Lions.”

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X: @CharlesERamirez

2024-04-19 13:51:57
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