Linebacker Chris Spielman was one of the toughest players in the NFL when he was playing for the Detroit Lions.
He also isn't afraid to let his emotions show, and he did just that when the Lions had a creative way of letting him know he was being inducted into the team's ring of honor.
Spielman was brought in to read a message that the team would be honoring some of the team's former legends during a homecoming event for an Oct. 31 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Then he kept reading about the player who was being honored at halftime.
It took a bit before Spielman realized he was reading his own bio.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 21, 2021
When Spielman started to figure it out, he uttered, "What are you guys doing here, man?" and then a short laugh. Then the tears started about the time Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood came out from behind the curtain to congratulate Spielman. The Lions haven't always gotten everything right, to say the least, but this was a touching moment.
There were more emotions to come. The most poignant moment came when a teary Spielman said he thought about Stefanie, who died in 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Spielman was a four-time Pro Bowler and the Lions' all-time leading tackler. He played with the Lions from 1988-1995 before two final seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He was one of the team's most popular players and a likable personality (the "A Football Life" episode from NFL Network that focuses on Spielman is probably the best of the series). He's entirely deserving of being immortalized at Ford Field.
His reaction to the Lions' fantastic surprise for him makes the honor itself even better.