NUMBER TWO – MANAGEMENT IS KEY
In the case of the Lions, it is my hope that Bob Quinn is the answer to their problems. My “yes” to making it to the Super Bowl is completely contingent on Quinn doing an excellent job.
This is essentially what Epstein did for both the Red Sox and the Cubs. He was excellent at acquiring the right players and coaches, and because of that, both teams finally won a World Series.
One thing I know is that winning starts at the top. No one ever looks at a championship team and says, “man, they won despite having a front office that is a complete mess.” If the Lions win a Super Bowl, it will be because the general manager put together the right combination of players and coaches. But do Super Bowl berths count upon the right ownership?
NUMBER THREE – IT ISN’T THE OWNERSHIP
Don’t get me wrong. I do think it is important to have good ownership. However, my point here extends to when people blame the ownership for the team’s losses.
This is my favorite excuse for losing because it walks the line of a curse, just much broader. Not only is the ownership capable of causing voodoo on the team, but ownership also bumbles every decision on purpose. The purpose being to save money, not caring about winning as long as they make profit, or just because they are bad business people.
In Detroit, the blame is always set at the foot of the Ford family for the Lions’ continued woes. Clearly, the Detroit Lions will never win as long as the Fords own the team.
But how do you explain the 2009 New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl? Tom Benson is notorious for being a bad owner. For two decades, he was hated by the fan base and blamed for the Saints lack of playoff success. This stance has since softened because the team has collected a Lombardi Trophy.
And you know why they won? They hired the right management. General manager Mickey Loomis hired head coach Sean Payton and took a shot on quarterback Drew Brees, who was coming off shoulder surgery. Along with many other roster moves that filled in that Saints team.
When they got it right in management, it trickled down through the rest of the franchise, and they stood atop the NFL. This was not accomplished in spite of their ownership, but because their ownership finally hired the right people to take charge.