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Yooperman’s Pride: Megan Stefanski reflects on time as a Detroit Lions fan while looking forward to playoff berth

GOETZVILLE— For Father’s Day in 1994, Megan Stefanski’s mother gifted her dad, Donnie Stefanski, his first set of Detroit Lions season tickets.

“He thought he’d just go to a game or two a year and sell the rest. But it’s an addiction,” Megan said.

That’s when the Stefanskis journey to becoming some of the most well-known Lions fans began. In 2008, Donnie Stefanski was drafted and selected by Pro Football’s Ultimate Fan Association, where he would earn the nickname Yooperman.  In 2011, Donnie would purchase what is now known as Yooperman Bar and Grill.


The bar is covered in the “most expensive wallpaper in Michigan,” according to Donnie. The walls are plastered in his tickets from his years at the Pontiac Silverdome.

“He always joked that he was born the last time they won the Super Bowl, which wasn’t really the Super Bowl, it was the NFL championship in 1957. My grandma has a photo of him holding a Detroit Lions championship football…so he’s been a fan since he was born,” Megan said.

Donnie passed in 2019, at age 61. He hadn’t missed a Lions home game in over 25 years. Now, Megan doesn’t miss a Lions game home or away.

With her on her five-plus-hour-drives to Ford Field comes her dad’s signature hat and jersey.  She also sits in what was her dad’s seat at Ford Field, over the Lions tunnel in the aisle, something no one dared to do while he was alive.


“That was his seat,” Megan laughed.

Though her dad is no longer with her in the stands, Megan is always surrounded by family.

“The people in my section have been sitting there almost the whole time,” Megan said.”I  know these people outside [of football] like they donate to my charity. They came from my dad’s funeral. You know, we hug each other hello every Sunday. Like when you sit down in that seat every Sunday for four months. You know, it’s those people who become family.”

The words football and family have become synonymous for Megan, who is a full-time librarian, and recently, and almost accidentally, a children’s author.


Her book, “Yooperman’s Pride: Football Is Family” was meant to be a gift to her friends that often come to her pregame tailgates in support of her charity of choice– Hospice of the EUP.

“It was a little story about my dad and I traveling to games on Sundays and the friends and family we met along the way,” Megan said. “It just kind of spiraled. And people started putting pictures on Facebook of them holding the book, like- all over the world.”

Through her book, Megan’s love for football and the fans far and wide that have become family, has been cemented for years to come.

Now, she looks forward to Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. The win will secure the Detroit Lions their first NFC North title since 1993.


“It’s going to be our Christmas present this year,” Megan said.

Her book can be purchased on Amazon.

Megan’s charity, Hospice of the EUP can be donated to here.

Get involved in one of her tailgates!

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