There’s plenty of blame for the 6-6 Detroit Lions. Replace Jim Caldwell or is more house cleaning needed? We discuss the Lions brass and who to replace them with.
The fans of the Detroit Lions have watched another year pass without any hope for a deep playoff run. The team is 6-6 after twelve games, a far cry from the way the potential looked in August. Many blame head coach Jim Caldwell, quarterback Matthew Stafford, or offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
Others blame the owner, Martha Firestone Ford. If you or I had the power to replace anyone connected to the franchise, who would we replace? Who might we want to replace them? This week we’ll only discuss the brain trust: owner, general manager, and head coach.
Martha Firestone Ford, the owner that took over the team after William Clay Ford, Sr.’s passing, has had the appearance of a more assertive owner at times. At the ripe old age of 92, she has taken over this weekly kick in the crotch we call the Detroit Lions. The candidates listed are probably not all feasible, but if there’s any one constant to the losing it’s the ownership. To win may require the Fords to get bored and sell. The trick is to keep the team, but change owners to anyone else.
Martha cannot take much blame since she inherited the mess in Allen Park, but the Fords have been the least successful owners in sports since assuming control the team in 1964. Three Central division titles, one playoff win, no rings. Notice that in the fifteen years since the division changed its name to the North, we have zero division titles. That much futility cannot be bad luck.
There are currently twelve billionaires from Michigan, here on a list from our friends at mlive, but originally compiled by Forbes. Any billionaire at all would be fine, but a couple jump out because of their involvement in professional sports already. All have ties that would likely keep the Lions in Detroit. Also, no one could be more inept than the Ford family at owning a team. By sheer luck, through 53 years of ownership they should have won a Lombardi Trophy.
I’ll name three (roughly): Dan Gilbert, Marian Ilitch , and the Meijer brothers, Hank and Doug, who co-own the Meijer chain of supermarkets.
While the Meijer boys, Hank and Doug, have not owned any major sports teams, their tie-in to Michigan is undeniable. Meijer supermarkets are worth over seven billion to the family. They are also the richest on Forbes list that hail from the mitten.
Dan Gilbert owns Detroit-based, Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and has been outspoken at points about his passion for winning. I’m sure at almost $6 billion of net worth, he wouldn’t even need a loan. If he did, he knows a guy. The Cav’s won their only world title under his ownership.
Lastly, the Ilitch family is loved by many Detroiter’s, but is it too much to ask them to own three pro sports teams? Marian is the wife of former Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who passed away in February of this year. Little Caesars pizza made the Ilitch family rich, but they have given back consistently and that’s why they top my list of great candidates.
Marian and Mike have won multiple titles as Red Wings owners and helped propel the Tigers to multiple World Series appearances.