It's an annual rite for many fans to make their way to their team's training camp. For those far afield, it's less a lengthy journey than a full-on pilgrimage to sacred ground.
For 63-year-old Joe Paquette Jr., it went even beyond that. He, after all, is an emissary to the Detroit Lions on behalf of the forces of Sisu. What is Sisu, you ask?
"It means perseverance and being able to bounce back from a difficult situation, which we all know the Lions are in," Paquette said Wednesday. "I said that's what the Lions need, they need Sisu. But how do you get it down there? Do you send them a letter that ends up in the waste basket?
Sure, he could have traveled another way, but perhaps the message doesn't carry the same oomph if the messenger isn't toughing it out. Don't ask me; I'm not Finnish. Hopefully the Lions do well this year so other enterprising fans will be inspired to create Sisu shirts with Paquette's likeness emblazoned on the front.
[H/T - Sports Crackle Pop]