Detroit Lions Honor Goetzville’s ‘Yooperman’
DETROIT – Plenty of people were in the Motor City on Sunday for the Detroit Lions home opener.
But one fan was missing.
Donnie “Yooperman” Stefanski, a Lions super fan from Goetzville passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 3 at age 61.
Stefanski made the 365-mile trip from the Upper Peninsula to southeast Michigan every home game for the last 25 years.
“We leave at 2 in the morning, every Sunday,” said Megan Stefanski, who accompanied her father at every game. “We drive down and are tailgating at the Market by 7 a.m. Go the game, drive home and get back by 11 p.m. every Sunday night.”
Many friends and family members decided they wouldn’t let the tradition go away, even though Stefanski wasn’t there.
“This was our family, our Lions family, and it’s special it means a lot to everybody cause he’s well loved you know,” said Stefanski’s friend and fellow superfan, Ron “Crackman” Crachiola.
The family plans to continue going to games and make the trip, in Stefanski’s honor.
“I know he’s with us, not only through me but his family and all the NFL fans in this great country. His legacy will live on forever,” said Crachiola.
“It’s something I had always done with him so I’m going to keep the tickets, it’s tradition, it’s going to keep his memory alive,” added Stefanski.