Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons is a huge indication as to how the 2008-09 season is going to play out for the Detroit Lions. In truth, it will be much like most of the seasons in the last half century: frustrating and embarrassing.
William Clay Ford Sr. has owned the Detroit Lions outright since 1964. In the 44 years he’s been at the helm, the Detroit Lions have won exactly one playoff game. Prior to Ford’s ownership, the Detroit Lions were one of the most storied professional football teams in the country. Their championships date back to nearly the beginning in 1935. In the 1950s they dominated the football world as they won three titles and were perennial favorites.
Why the breakdown?
I’m convinced that: a) Ford doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing; and b) He doesn’t really care whether or not the team wins or loses.
The Lions are more or less a hobby for Ford, a man who inherited great wealth created by his pioneering grandfather, Henry. In many ways, he’s the polar opposite of his legendary relative who, I’m sure, would have never settled for such a string of failure.
Ford’s entire record is a patchwork mess of failed draft picks, management and coaches. Each one, a doomed stunt to turn around a team with a plagued culture that starts at the top.
Let’s be honest. This gang of Fords isn’t even qualified to run Henry’s automobile company, which teeters on the verge of bankruptcy. Detroit has witnessed many of the same superficial approaches by Bill Ford Jr. to turn Ford Motor Company around that his father has tried with the Lions. In essence, the Ford clan has run both entities into the ground.
The Fords are a country club set severely out of their element in today’s rough and tumble NFL. Sure, they’ve got a lot of money, but they lack the drive and know-how to put a winning team on the field. Their moves are usually superficial — the type of things an emotional adolescent would do if he were in charge.
How many times can we blame and fire the coach? Leadership starts at the top — the very top — and all roads lead to the failed leadership of the Ford family.
Mr. Ford, it’s time for you to say goodbye to your Detroit Lions. It’s time to sell them to an innovative team owner who’ll try a new approach and who won’t settle for mediocrity. Please, Mr. Ford, for your own good and the good of this entire region, sell the team.