I kept my word and didn't blog about the Detroit Lions after their second game, but today I am breaking my silence, since the season is over. We now know that it was over before it began.
This has been the most disgusting display of football ownership ever seen in professional sports. Yes, Mr. William Clay Ford, the blame for this forty-year debacle rests squarely on your shoulders. You are the one who has hired doofus coaches, doofus GM's, doofus scouts, all of which has lead to doofuses on the field. You wasted 10 years of Barry Sanders on Wayne Fontes and Bobby Ross. There should have been 2 or 3 Super Bowls in that span alone, but you can't pull your head out to find people to run your team! And all you had to do is look down the road about 20 miles to see how it's done, because there are teams in Auburn Hills and Detroit that have won championships and made an impact in their sport. I'm talking about the Pistons, Red Wings, and yes, even the Tigers.
It is so simple in concept: find people who are really, really good at what they do and put them in a position where they can let their talent and experience work to build up your team. Yes, you have to be able to find those people, but you should have enough contacts in the sport to find these people.
Bill Davidson and Mike Ilitch have both shown you the way, but apparently, Mr. Ford, you are unable to learn the lessons. You are satisfied with the losing, as long as there are butts in the seats. Well, how did that turn out for you this year? With a brand new stadium that is 20% empty, that's how!
And so with all of this mediocrity, this record-breaking badness, most owners with an ounce of common sense would broom the lot of these people and find new ones who could do the job. But what do you do, Mr. Ford? You promote them!!!!
Mark my words (and I'm sure I'm not the only one saying this): The Detroit Lions will never amount to anything until William Clay Ford is no longer the owner.
I think I may become a Titans or Panthers fan, or maybe even Atlanta. They at least have ownership that cares and players that can play. Certainly the Detroit Lions don't have many of those qualities going for them.
To Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith: you deserve better than what you have here. Thank you for showing up and caring when everything was going to hell around you, but my advice to you is to play out your contract and leave for a team that will give you a chance to win. Just ask Barry Sanders about what playing in Detroit will do for you. The greatest running back ever to play the game quit because he was tired of the crap in Detroit. I was mad at him then - felt that he abandoned all of us Lions fans, but I don't blame him any more. I completely understand why he did what he did. Don't let it happen to you!!
I will probably always follow the Lions (call it "Battered Football Fan Syndrome"), but I will have no hope for them until WCF no longer owns the team.