Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola is showing his face inpublic these days, mingling with fired-up fans and soaking upsuccess he hasn’t experienced in his 11-year career.Raiola sat in seats on the third-base line at Comerica Park towatch the Tigers play Texas in the AL championship series Tuesdaynight when it hit him how much things have changed.”Back in the day, I wouldn’t do that,” Raiola said Wednesday.”I’d be up in a suite because I didn’t want to be seen.”Raiola wished he could’ve went into hiding the night of April24, 2008, when he was shown on the Joe Louis Arena videoboards andgot booed during a Red Wings playoff game.”I was like, `I can’t believe it,’ but I knew I couldn’t doanything about it,” he recalled. ”It was embarrassing.”Raiola and offensive tackle Jeff Backus, both drafted by formerLions executive Matt Millen in 2001, are getting to enjoy winningfor a change with the undefeated Lions after losing three-fourthsof their games over the first decade of their careers.The duo endured the NFL’s first 0-16 season three years ago whenthey hit rock bottom during the league’s worst stretch of futilitysince World War II.Only St. Louis defensive end and former Lion James Hall (.246)has a lower winning… Read full this story
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