They say you can't go home again.
But on Jan. 14, NFL quarterback Matthew Stafford will once again take to the field in Detroit where he led the Lions for 12 seasons before his 2021 trade to the Los Angeles Rams. And though the Motor City's fans still harbor enough affection for the pro bowler to have sported Detroit Rams shirts leading up to his 2022 Super Bowl win, he's not exactly anticipating a warm reception.
"I'm not expecting anything, to be honest with you," the 35-year-old told reporters Jan. 10. "I was asked this question a couple of times, just by friends and family. And, I think the biggest thing for me is just go experience whatever that experience is going to be. I understand what the people of Detroit and what the city of Detroit meant to me in my time there, and my career, what they meant to my family. I hope they feel that back."
Which, sure, but that hasn't stopped fans from proposing a ban on Stafford Lions jerseys at the game.
But the former No. 1 pick will at least have a few cheerleaders in the stands with wife Kelly Stafford and their four daughters—6-year-old twins Sawyer and Chandler, Hunter, 5, and Tyler, 3—planning to make the trip.
"'How many more sleeps until we go back to the snow?'" Kelly captioned a Jan. 9 post, referencing her girls' excitement to return to their hometown.
While Matthew can certainly throw a ball well enough to impress the dads, Brads and Chads, what makes him an MVP in Kelly's eyes is how he supports his squad.
"He is the softest, most patient man," Kelly told E! News in 2022. "My dad always said one of the most important relationships in life is a father-daughter relationship just because of the confidence your dad can give you. I am so grateful that I ended up with Matthew because he sets such an incredible example as to the partner they should want to be with."
And for Matthew, his home team is a crucial part of his winning strategy. "I couldn't have done it without Kelly," he told reporters in the lead-up to his Super Bowl win. "She's an unbelievable part of my life. I'm so lucky to be with her and have the children that I have and the family that I have. It's the best part of my life."
While the University of Georgia alum stays away from social media, fans have been able to catch a glimpse of Matthew's life as a dad thanks to Kelly's social media. Based on photos alone, it's safe to say he is one valuable parent.