Blaming William Clay Ford for the Lion's Woes
If you had no experience running a professional sports team, were very passionate about that sport, and were offered millions of dollars to do just that job, would you turn it down?
If you were the worst person at your job (and not even by a slim margin) and someone offered you a multimillion dollar extension to keep doing it, would you turn it down?
And that's why I can't blame Matt Millen for screwing up the Detroit Lions. It's not his fault he's woefully over his head. The blame should lie squarely on William Clay Ford, the man who was not only dumb enough to hire someone so inexperienced but also incompetent enough to extend his contract when the team he built went from a perennial playoff contender to the worst of 32 teams during his tenure.
Fans even went so far as organizing a "Millen Man March" with the goal of getting Millen fired but to no avail. Normally when the public calls for someone's head, they tend to get their way (especially when their reasoning is completely justifiable). Not in this case. Ford just continues to ignore their cries and forge forward with Millen. Millen continues to lay the blame on the coaching staff (ironically it's the staff he's responsible for hiring) and Ford keeps buying it.
Perhaps only when ticket sales dwindle will Ford face reality. That day may be soon, as early projections are that Detroit Lions games might not sell out for the first time in a long time. Of course winning cures all ills, so if the Lions start out the year good (a 3-1 record is not out of the question, though the rest of the schedule is going to make getting another 3 wins tough), the attendance may remain high.
The only real surefire solution would be to get William Clay Ford out of power with the team. He's certainly old enough retirement could be an option, though there has been no talk of this. And there doesn't seem to be any intent on selling the team. So for now, all of us Lions fans can do little more than what we've been doing for the entire Millen reign of terror… suffer and hope each season is one season closer to a team with a real GM in charge.
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