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Why Do the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions Play Each Other Every Preseason?

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions
Leon Halip/Getty Images

It’s the NFL rivalry you probably didn’t know existed. The Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills play each other every preseason. Here’s the backstory of the Lions rivalry you didn’t know you cared about.

There were actually once two pre-season rivalries the Lions had: Cleveland and Buffalo. The Lions and Browns once played an annual preseason game called the Great Lakes Classic and vied for the Barge Trophy.

That Cleveland-Detroit pre-season rivalry has come to an end, with no game between the teams since 2014. The Barge Trophy sits abandoned in the Cleveland Browns home office in Berea.

More: The Detroit Lions Very First Stadium Will Be Preserved Thanks to $25,000 Grant

However the Buffalo-Detroit preseason rivalry is alive and well. The teams have closed out the preseason with each other ever year since 2002. It’s been a lopsided affair with a Lions news release stating that Detroit is

leading the preseason series 24-11-1. Detroit has claimed victory in each of the last nine preseason tilts, including a 31-0 win in 2016 at Ford Field.

It’s a shame the Barge Trophy couldn’t be transferred to the Lions-Buffalo match-up. Like Cleveland, Buffalo is a shipping port along the Great Lakes and makes a natural regional rival to Detroit.

Next: There are More Detroit Lions Fans in Michigan than Lions in the Whole World

BONUS VIDEO – The Abandoned Dalrymple School in Albion

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