Going into the Lions game on Sunday, Ndamukong Su did not enter it with a different approach, but his entourage believes that he truly understood the gravity of the game against Minnesota.
It’s possible that this was Suh’s final home game at Ford Field, and his sister, parents and Warren Buffett – CEO of Berkshire Hathaway – were all there on the field watching pregame warm-ups.
“That’s pretty big-time,” said Dominic Raiola after the Lions defeated the Vikings in a 16-14 win.
Some of the players on the Vikings team didn’t even notice Warren Buffett on the field prior to the game. Glover Quin, safety, said that he would have “asked for some cash” if he noticed Buffett was there.
Warren Buffett is currently the second richest person in the world, according to Forbes, and is currently worth an estimated $71.6 billion. As a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan, Suh and Buffett have been good friends for a few years after they were introduced by Tom Osborne, the athletics director and football coach at Nebraska.
When talking to Buffett about whether he provided advice to Suh in regards to his pending free agency, Buffett mentioned to The Detroit News that he really wanted to see Suh re-sign with the Lions.
“I hope it is in his last. I hope he stays in Detroit,” said Buffett. “It’s his call, obviously. He’s a hero in Detroit; he deserves to be one. It’s a terrific city, it’s on the way back and I just think it’d be great if he sticks around.”
The Suh family and Buffett were among many dozens of people that wore the number 90 jersey on the field prior to the game beginning. There were nine other employees from Berkshire Hathaway on the field as well with Buffett and said that out of the 25 person office in Omaha, Nebraska, they were the biggest sports fans. Buffett mentioned that he and all of the employees attending the game “have just been dying to see Suh play in Detroit.”
“We thought if we brought 11, they might want us to play,” said Buffett.
Suh attended a few of the shareholder meetings at Berkshire Hathaway, and he and Buffett, in 2013, participated in an arm wrestling match as part of a friendly fundraiser.
“He’s just a hell of a guy,” said Buffett. “He’s got the right values; he’s a terrific player. When he graduated from Nebraska, you know what he did in terms of the gift. I mean, he is a class act.”
Upon graduating, Suh donated $600,000 to the college of engineering at the University for their Endowment Scholarship. He also donated $2 million for the strength and conditioning program at Nebraska. He graduated from the University with a degree in construction management prior to becoming drafted by the Lions in 2010 as the second overall pick. He signed a $64.5 million contract for a five-year deal.
When he enters into free agency, his next contract will most likely cost around $100 million. Jim Caldwell, the coach of the Lions, said Suh, who finished the game with one sack and four tackles on Sunday, played exactly the same as he does every single game.
“Every game is special for him,” said coach Jim Caldwell.
Buffett mentioned that he and the other employees of Berkshire Hathaway are going to Cleveland on Monday to watch the Charlotte Hornets play against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Buffett did not expect Suh to join him for the game.
“He’s certainly invited,” said Buffett.