'I'm excited': Belleville family prepares for son to take on Lions in playoff game

'I couldn't have wrote a better script'
Posted at 9:58 PM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 13:41:03-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Inside Latanya Franklin’s Belleville home, it’s all Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jerseys to hats, slippers to socks, it’s no secret who they’re rooting for on Sunday.

"It's a very easy decision," Franklin said. "I'm rooting for my son!”

Franklin’s son Kaevon Merriweather, who played at Belleville High School and the University of Iowa, now plays safety and special teams for Tampa Bay. It’s his first season in the NFL and he’s appeared in multiple games with his family in the crowd cheering him on.

“I would love for him to make it all the way to the Super Bowl his rookie year," Franklin said. "That’s asking for a lot, but look how far we’ve come his rookie year.”

But standing in the way of that mission is their hometown Detroit Lions, the team Kaevon once rooted on.

“Of course I want to see the Lions do well. I love the path they're on, but I want us to win," Franklin said.

Franklin has already heard from longtime friends going to the game, saying they're cheering for her son but at the same time want him to lose the game. No matter the outcome for Franklin, Sunday’s marquee game at Ford Field will be one the entire family will remember.

"I'm going to feel great," Kaevon's Grandfather Roshell McMillion said. "Not only will I see him win on that field, his brother won two state championships on that field (with Belleville).”

“When you watch the Detroit Lions growing up, you always dream of your child playing for that organization,” Franklin said. "So for my son to come home and play in front of his friends and family and neighbors and my coworkers, it’s amazing. It’s no words I can put to it. I'm happy he's doing it. I'm excited. I couldn't have wrote a better script.”