The 2022 season of Hard Knocks with the Detroit Lions concluded last night. The five episode series showed head coach Dan Campbell’s team trying to find an identity and establish a winning culture after a disastrous 3-13-1 previous season. Campbell’s message to the team throughout the season was about having “Grit,” something that means a lot to the workhorse city of Detroit. And it’s hard to think of someone who embodies that grit, passion, and ability to rise up to the top, quite as much as arguably Detroit’s most famous export, Eminem.
So on the season finale, Eminem visited the Lions’ training camp facility and looked to be having a lot of fun in the process. He joked about throwing a football on the street as far as he can, but realizing that it only goes 10 yards. He told quarterback Jared Goff that he was much taller than he expected him to be.
He also volunteered his services to the team, saying, “Any position, I’m good. Actually, any position, I’m great.” He passed the ice baths and a running back Jamaal Williams told him all he needed was a 90-second dip to soothe achy muscles. To that, Em replied, “F*ck that. That’s 90 seconds too long!” He even treated the team to a lunch of his “Mom’s Spaghetti.”
Eminem had clearly been watching this season of Hard Knocks as he referenced rookie phenom Aidan Hutchinson’s rendition of “Billie Jean” in front of the entire team. But what really stood out was that Em was humble, present, and gracious enough to take photos and shake hands and chat with everyone he met. The mutual respect was most evident when he met the Lions head coach and Campbell (who is a massive human and dwarfed the rapper) gave him a hug and said, “Nobody represents this city more than you do. It’s a pleasure to have you out here.”