I was very happy to see the news today that Martha Ford, the owner of the Detroit Lions, announced that she had fired the team President Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew. “Happy” isn’t really the word I am looking for, you can’t feel happiness when somebody loses their job, but I’m not sure what other word fits better.
Maybe hopeful – hopeful that after 40+ years of ineptitude, there is finally a recognition by ownership that it ALL starts at the top. I had an exchange with a nutty Lions fan friend of mine out here after the Chiefs game. I told him nothing would change until they had a FULL house cleaning, starting at the TOP of the organization. I concluded in 1983 that Russ Thomas was incompetent and swore that I would NEVER support the Lions again until they hired someone competent to run the team. 32 years later – I am still waiting.
Chuck Schmidt – good guy, but not the guy I would hire if I wanted a winning football team. Matt Millen – maybe the worst decision EVER. I don’t know Tom Lewand well, but sorry, being the son of the owner’s personal lawyer does not qualify someone to run a winning organization, even if he did “pay his dues” before being elevated to the position. At this point, I am not sure I would keep a single employee of the whole damn organization – not one person that pulls a paycheck with the Detroit Lions name on it.
It may not be fair to paint people in the equipment staff, video staff, etc. with the same LOSER brush as the football personnel (players, coaches, scouts, etc.), but the fact of the matter is losing is a disease, and you don’t eradicate a disease with half measures.
In the 20 years since their initial season, the Carolina Panthers have been to the Super Bowl once and the NFC Championship game 2 additional times. They have won their division 5 times. This is a team that did not exist before 1995!
The New England Patriots were almost dead before Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994. They’ve done pretty well since.
Meanwhile, the Lions have NEVER been to a Super Bowl and have won exactly 1 playoff game since 1957. Winning is an attitude and it starts at the top. And so is losing.
So I am hopeful that at long last there may finally be an opportunity for the team to turn it around. The LONG suffering fans in Detroit certainly deserve it.
I don’t expect Mrs. Ford to tap me on the shoulder, but if she did, I’d answer the call. Believe me, I love Utah and have absolutely no interest in leaving. But it would be impossible to pass up.
I already put my name in 😉 but honestly, I’m not expecting the phone to ring. I just hope that whoever they decide to go with, they finally make the right choice and bring in someone who will kick ass and take names. And not accept anything less than success – on the field, which is the only thing that matters when it comes to measuring a sports team’s performance.
We’ll see . . .