Daniel Radcliffe understands the pain of sports. After all, he is a fan of England’s national soccer team. So it’s kind of fitting that as the Harry Potter actor is starting to watch American football, he’s following a team with similar understanding of misery and frustration:
The Detroit Lions.
“My girlfriend is from Michigan, so there’s always a Lions game on Thanksgiving,” Radcliffe said on Late Night with Seth Meyers. “With the misery or joy that that entails.”
Radcliffe’s girlfriend, Erin Darke, grew up in Flint, Michigan, and plays fantasy football, according to her Twitter bio. So, presumably, she understands the pain of the Lions as well.
When Meyers explained that it usually means misery — the Lions are 37-40 on the holiday and haven’t had a winning record spanning a decade in the Thanksgiving game since the 1990s — Radcliffe agreed.
“It has been,” Radcliffe said.
“But I feel like there’s a certain — heartbreak is part of being a Giants fan,” Radcliffe said, likely meaning the Lions. “In a way that … being an English football fan is also sort of, in some way — well, growing up was mixed with a lot of heartbreak and missed penalties.”
Radcliffe did see some success lately — at least with his soccer team. The English reached the World Cup semifinals. But he understands misery of sports and what it’s like to watch the team you like not win.
And what it’s like to hang on to successes, even if they happened long before you were born.
“The date that everyone in England grows up knowing is 1966 — it’s the year that England won the World Cup,” Radcliffe said. “Like that’s ingrained in all of us. And I remember the first time I went to Germany and realized no one there has any idea that’s what happened that year. Or in any other country. It’s not famous. It’s just that we really hang on to that. It’s like, ‘Oh no, you’ve won it so many times you don’t hang on to the one year that you won it 50 years ago.'”
So whether or not Radcliffe is a Lions fan, a Giants fan or just a fan of American football, he can certainly empathize with what it’s like to be a supporter of the Detroit Lions, a team that hasn’t won a divisional title since 1993, a playoff game since the 1991 season, has never made the Super Bowl and whose last championship came in 1957.