Jake Moody

Moody receives support from conflicted Lions fan family, friends

NBC Universal, Inc.

SANTA CLARA — Sunday will bring slightly mixed emotions to the Moody household.

With the 49ers set to host the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium, Lisa and Chad Moody, the parents of San Francisco's rookie kicker, Jake, will be cheering on their son as his team attempts to punch their ticket to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.

But for the Michigan natives and lifelong Lions fans, there will be some internal conflict.

“They will for sure be cheering us on,” Moody told NBC Sports Bay Area with a smile. “For sure cheering me on, because who wouldn’t want to see their son in the Super Bowl and see their son’s team in the Super Bowl? I’m sure they will be cheering us on and hopefully, we get the win.”

Growing up in Northville, Michigan, being a Lions fan was an expectation for Jake and his family, no matter how challenging. They even attended Lions training camp when Jake was young and have a Lions helmet on display in their house signed by kicker Jason Hanson who spent his entire 21-year career with the club.

When Jake was drafted by the 49ers with the No. 99 pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, his parents obviously were elated, but not too much later, this past summer, Chad predicted that the two clubs would meet in the NFC title game.

“It obviously came true,” Jake said. “I didn’t believe him, just historically looking at the Lions and having grown up a Lions fan, I didn’t think they would ever get this far. But it is pretty cool to play in the NFC Championship. It’s exactly where I would want to be. Obviously, I think I’m on the better side.”

While Lisa and Chad will be decked out in their 49ers gear and cheering for their son to win, they are surrounded by loyal Lions fans who are hoping that their team can pull off the upset. While Jake and the 49ers received support during the regular season, his parents can’t necessarily ask all of their friends to convert to cheering for the red and gold on Sunday. 

Instead, they have reached a compromise of sorts.

“It’s not that hard until now that we are playing them in the NFC Championship,” Jake said. “But being a kicker, the way they get everyone to agree to something is — ‘Hopefully Jake makes all of his kicks. Can you at least do that?' So they usually get people to agree to that, but obviously, I don’t just want to just make all my kicks, I want to win the game as well.” 

Even as a lifelong fan before being drafted by the 49ers, Jake has a new loyalty now, contrary to his father. If the Lions do happen to leave the Bay Area with a win, Chad has promised to be proudly donning his Lions gear for the Super Bowl.

“I will not,” Jake said with a laugh. “I am forever a 49er now, but he’s been a Lions fan for his entire life and he’s gone through a very long dry spell of never seeing them in the Super Bowl. He’ll be doing it by himself. I’ll still be proudly wearing 49ers gear.”

As far as the rookie’s hometown rooting only for his kicking success, Jake believes a little support is better than nothing. 

“Everybody else in Michigan is rooting for me to make kicks but for us to lose,” Moody said. “I’ll take what I can get.” 

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