Lions Fan, 63, Walks 425 Miles to Inspire Team

Joe Paquette Jr. walks to team's front door, bringing 'sisu'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2010 5:46 PM CDT
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passes during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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(Newser) – A 63-year-old Lions fans walked 425 miles to training camp, aiming to inspire his team to reach new heights this season, the Detroit News reports. Joe Paquette Jr. says he made the trip from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to a Detroit suburb to give the Lions a little "sisu"—a Finnish word loosely translated as "determination" or "guts." Coach Jim Schwartz and some players greeted Paquette with a personalized jersey, WDIV reports.

"Once they see that a 63-year-old man with arthritis in both knees can walk 450 miles just because of sisu, they are going to buy into it," said Paquette, who spent 18 days on the road and slept in a motor home piloted by his brother-in-law. Said Schwartz: "Lions fans never cease to amaze me."

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