Detroit Lions: What Ron Wood Should Have Said


Photo by Carlos Osorio. Associated Press.

The Detroit Lions introduced Ron Wood as Team President on Friday the 20th. It would have been much more apropos a week earlier on Friday the 13th.

It’s downright scary when the man charged to turn around one of professional sports’ least-successful, least-profitable franchises opens his introductory press conference with these words,

“I am not a ‘football guy’”

Or continue on to utter the phrase,

“I would probably say that I’m not qualified to run any other NFL team”

Stop right there! When the new President says those words out loud to the gathered media, whatever shoots out of his pie hole next doesn’t matter. It can’t matter.

“I’m not qualified to run any other team.”

He might as well be Matt Millen standing up there announcing he’s going to draft four wideouts in the first round in five years, hire woefully incompetent and inexperienced coaches and lead the team straight to the butt of so many sports radio and late-night talk show jokes.

Even though Wood properly contextualized his ghastly admission (you can watch the whole piece here thanks to the Detroit Free Press) the skeptical, jaded Lions fandom didn’t really care.

Social media reaction was swift and it was ruthless. Normally level-headed folks took chainsaws to the patio furniture. Michigan sports radio, already agog with a different Lions controversy, exploded into a public shaming of an out-of-touch, hopeless franchise.

Here’s what Mr. Wood should have said…

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a privilege to be here in front of you as the President of the Detroit Lions.

A lot of you probably wonder why I’m here. Well, I’m a businessman by trade. And at its core the Detroit Lions are a business. A business that has not been run properly in recent years.

My experience in the business world has very practical applications to helping get this football team on the path to unprecedented success. Running a successful organization comes from hiring the right people and putting them in the right position to thrive.

There are already a lot of the right people in the building. The on-field product is obviously not getting the desired results this year, but last year these Lions roared to a playoff berth. Some will even say they did enough to win the playoff game.

The core of that success is still here. It might be obscured by the recent downturn, but the foundation for success is firmly in place with key franchise cornerstones. The goal now is to build upon that strong foundation.

In order to accomplish these goals, we have begun a search for a new football leader in the front office. Being successful in business has taught me to know when I need help, and that entails finding the best and brightest football mind out there to be the architect of success.

To that end, I have contacted the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel to assist in the search for a new General Manager and Director of Football Operations. This is a group of proven successful NFL executives, many of whom are in the Hall of Fame for their ability to construct sustainably great football teams. We will draw upon their expertise to uncover the next great football man.

Mrs. Ford has made it abundantly clear that the losing must stop. The Ford family is unaccustomed to failure, and the inability of their beloved football team to succeed gnaws at their very core. They know fans are skeptical. They know things must change or else brand loyalty will erode.

There is no greater catastrophe in the business world than losing the value of your brand. For too long, the Detroit Lions have not represented success. So I am here today to build up the brand, to restore the roar of one of the NFL’s oldest and proudest franchises. Now if you will excuse me, I have a lot of work to do!

Drop the mic and walk away, fade to black.