Detroit Lions: Excuses gone, Don’t blame Bobby Layne

Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Bobby Layne cursed the Detroit Lions in 1958 and some fans still blame him today. Let’s discuss the reality of 2019 and who is really responsible.

There are people who still blame Bobby Layne and his curse for the Detroit Lions‘ troubles. In the annals of NFL history, this curse is one that seems to have been prophetic but is it? Layne was traded in 1958, the year after winning a third title (the last in Detroit), and while packing for Chicago he infamously cursed the team to 50 years of losing.

The Lions are coming off of a different kind of season in 2018, having won only six games. It is time to address the culpability of the brain trust of the Lions and the importance of 2019. Let’s discuss it in this installment of Kick In the Crotch Weekly.

When Bob Quinn was hired just over three years ago he came to Detroit as the protégé of New England Patriots coach and do-everything man, Bill Belichick, freshly picked from the quintessential modern-day football dynasty. His pedigree seemed more than solid having served the evil empire for more than a decade. Quinn oversaw personnel for four Super Bowl title runs and he has the bling to prove it.

Quinn has stepped out of the shadow of his mentor and is trying to begin his own legacy in the Motor City. For his time with the organization, hired by Martha Firestone-Ford, he has enjoyed a long leash after taking over for some of the least successful general managers the sport has ever seen in Matt Millen and Martin Mayhew. Going into his fourth year, though, he is now completely responsible for the results of this team.

Martha Firestone-Ford is also into a period of time as an owner where fans should not blame her late husband for failures of the team, she has been the sole owner for five years. Quinn is her guy. To her credit, she has seemed more attuned to the issues around the team and has seemed to be more attentive and motivated to win.

For both though, the time has come to judge them on their own merits, not to compare them to the ghosts of horrible football’s past. William Clay Ford, Sr. is no longer a scapegoat, nor are Millen or Mayhew responsible for anything happening now. Like shunning Bobby Layne’s curse, we do not need to indulge the idea that our past dictates our future.

We need to hold the people in charge of our team accountable for their decisions if the team does not succeed just as much as we would laud them with a parade down Woodward Avenue if they brought home a Lombardi Trophy.