The people born in Kahuku, Hawaii are guaranteed two things; enough sun to last ten lifetimes and high-quality football. Lions super-fan Chris Salts has been spoiled with both.
Kahuku High School has won eight Division-I state football championships since 2000. They’ve appeared in eleven. During Chris’s time attending Kahuku High, he got to witness two of those state championships while cheering on his older sister who played for the Red Raiders. His sister, who primarily played Tight End, had an insane moment in the second championship win.
While covering a kickoff an opposing player grabbed her by her hair and threw her onto the ground. Never one to shy away from showing her toughness, she got right back up, ripped the player’s helmet off, and punched him square in the face.
“I’ll always love my sister for that” Chris added.
That’s the type of toughness that comes with the people of Kahuku and Chris is no different. Physical toughness is important, sure, but mental toughness even more so. And if you’re reading this, you know that it takes an absurd amount of mental toughness to be a Lions fan.
You see, Chris wasn’t born into the daunting nature of Lions fandom. He chose it. That is either a sign of insanity or genuine love for the team… or maybe a little bit of both.
Growing up, Chris’s family were not big football fans. But due to the success of the Red Raiders all throughout his life, football was unavoidable. In elementary school Chris would hear conversations about football nearly every day. His curiosity steadily rose until one day it finally peaked – with the 2006 Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The week leading up to the game Chris had heard just about every one of his classmates talk about it. He couldn’t get away from it even if he tried. The itch to watch football was becoming unbearable as even his teachers were talking about it.
His itch to watch football would finally be scratched when he asked his parents to watch the Super Bowl. They agreed. It became a yearly tradition and he was hooked.
Watching the Super Bowl eventually turned into watching Thanksgiving games. It just so happens that the Detroit Lions appear in these games every year. Due to the time zone difference the first Thanksgiving game in Hawaii starts at 7 AM, and the excitement to wake up and watch the games drove Chris to really fall in love with both the sport and the team.
Throughout high school Chris became a big Matthew Stafford fan. “His 5,000 yard and 41 TD season is all it took” he explained. “I remember everyone saying that 5,000 yards was such an impressive [stat], and I never really knew just how impressive it truly is. That guy was on fire all season and it hyped me up”
After he graduated from Kahuku High, Chris moved to Utah to attend college. He had an opportunity to ditch the team but he stayed true and loyal. Whether it was the fake spike against the Cowboys in 2013, the 2014 London game against the Falcons, or the Golden Tate front flip game against Minnesota in 2016, something always kept him coming back.
Although Chris has spent most of his life watching Lions games alone, he has a new partner in crime. In August of 2019, Chris and his wife Zipporah brought a son into the world, Caius.
Chris and Caius watched all 16 games together in 2019. Chris, I’m sure, is ready for the years to come watching the Lions with his son. Although young Caius does not know it yet, he is in for a rollercoaster of emotions while watching the Cardiac Cats next to his dad.
The Wounded Warrior Project
For his charity Chris chose The Wounded Warrior Project (Perfect timing with Memorial Day coming up).
“My charity of choice is going to be The Wounded Warrior Project. I have a lot of respect for those who serve. A lot of those guys join fresh out of high school and a lot of them come out way worse than when they went in. These are guys who give up their best years to fight for us and it saddens me to see guys who lose limbs and loved ones or end up with permanent lingering injuries because of it. Just want to give back to my brothers and sisters who literally gave everything for us”
Voting for Chris
You’ve heard his story, seen his charity, now it’s time to help him win some signed Lions memorabilia!
Every one of our fans that we profile will have a shot at winning some awesome signed Lions memorabilia courtesy of the great people at Pro Sports Zone. Be sure to check out their Facebook page where they have stock you won’t find anywhere else. They are extremely friendly, modestly priced, and are the best place to go to for all sports memorabilia.
The fan with the most votes by June 21st wins! You can vote up to 5 times per day. For additional information and to see how you can enter, click here.
Before you leave, take a look at some fun questions that Chris answered. I had a really great time getting to know Chris, so here’s a little bit of extra fun.
How many wins do you see the Lions having this year?
Chris: “Anywhere from 9-11 wins. All pending the health of Stafford. I’m going to lean towards 9 wins though”
You get a million dollars but… you have to take a non-padded hit from a fully-padded Danny Shelton, do you do it?
Chris: “Easily. I’d have like 850k left over after hospital bills. I’d take a hit from Trey Flowers for a million”
The game is on the line, 3 seconds left, and the Lions need you to make a game-winning 30-yard field goal. On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you can make it?
Chris: “Like a 0, I’m not gonna pretend I can do Prater’s job even a little bit”
Which 3 Lions players (past or present) would you choose to be on a deserted Island with? In other words, who do you feel you have the best chance of survival with?
Chris: Frank Ragnow is easily number 1. Dude can fish. Second, I’d say Jahlani Tavai, he just seems like a chill ass dude. And last, I’m gonna say Ziggy Ansah. I don’t know why”