Detroit coach Dan Campbell wants a pet lion. He has his reasons

Dan Campbell smiles
New Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell wants a pet lion.
(Associated Press)

Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell wants a pet.

A pet he can take with him to practice.

One he can use to really motivate his players.

Definitely not a goldfish or a canary.

Not a dog or even a snake.

He wants a cat.

But not just any cat.

“I would love to literally just have a pet lion,” Campbell said Sunday on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. “Just a legit pet lion on a chain, a big-ass chain, and he really is my pet.”

He has the whole scene planned.

The NFL 2021 schedule has been released, and highlights many relocated quarterbacks facing their old teams.


“We just walk around the building, we go out to practice, we’re at 7-on-7, we’re behind the kicker when he’s kicking,” Campbell said. “We’re just, there we are.”

He added: “We would take great care of it. It would be fed well, it would be petted, it would be manicured. I might end up losing an arm because of it, but that would be even better because it would validate what, this is a freaking, this is a creature now. This is an animal. This thing, this is from the wild.”

Campbell also made it clear that a lost limb is a sacrifice he’d be willing to make in exchange for a Super Bowl win.

OK, so maybe Campbell had his tongue in cheek just a bit during the interview.

The Lions tweeted Tuesday: “Guys, coach was joking. But it’d be cool, right? Imagine the possibilities.”

Ah, yes. Just imagine Sean McVay strolling into SoFi Stadium with an actual ram.

Vic Fangio galloping into Mile High on an honest-to-goodness bronco.

David Culley showing up at NRG Stadium with a real-life Texan.

Brandon Staley arriving at SoFi with an actual charger ... actually, chances are he’s already got one of those in his car.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf wasn’t a winner in the 100 meters at Mt. San Antonio College, but he still put in an impressive performance.

But, alas, some of those scenarios aren’t likely to happen. Campbell is realistic about his plan.

“I don’t know if PETA’s going to allow that, though. It’s gonna be hard,” he said, referring to the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it.”