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Stafford: Fans say ‘everything you could imagine’

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Detroit sports fans often say the hardest jobs in town are being the quarterback for the Lions or the goalie for the Red Wings.

When things go wrong with either team, the quarterback and goalie often receive the brunt of the criticism.

“Now I just get threats of making sure that the turkey tastes good, so got to make sure we win on Thursday for that,” he said.

The Lions play the Eagles on Thanksgiving (12:30 p.m., FOX) and have a chance to win their third straight game to improve to 4-7 and earn a third consecutive Turkey Day victory.

In addition to having critical fans around Detroit, being the high-profile quarterback in town can be confusing, according to Stafford. During the 1-7 start, he couldn’t tell whether the compliments were sincere or backhanded.

“I’ve had a few people out there tell me they’re one of my few fans left, so I’m glad there’s a couple out there,” he said Tuesday. “I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not, if they’re trying to point themselves out as being a big fan or just (putting) shade on everybody else. I’m not really sure.”

Asked what he hears from fans at restaurants or gas stations, Stafford said they tell him “everything you could imagine.”

But, Stafford said he and the rest of the players have little trouble blocking out the criticism when they’re at team headquarters in Allen Park.

“It probably affects guys more outside the building than it does in here,” he said. “I know you guys hate hearing it, but it doesn’t change for us. We go to work every day no matter what and prepare to win games.”