Detroit Lions, fans provide blueprint for 2020 uncertainty

Martha Firestone Ford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Martha Firestone Ford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Martha Firestone Ford, Detroit Lions
Martha Firestone Ford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The 2020 Detroit Lions season comes down to how the team reacts to adversity. If they are like their city, they will find a comeback.

The 2020 Detroit Lions‘ season is already off to a rocky start no matter what way we look at it. Despite having a successful draft and schedule reveal, we are now to the difficult part for the entire NFL. While this time of year is often the start of the “Kool-Aid summer”, the Lions recent history makes this year a year where we need the team to mimic the city it represents.

For starters, this is not Kick In The Crotch Weekly’s typical analysis-with-opinion type of article. The offseason is often a time of inner reflection about the nature of our fanaticism. Looking inward, it’s difficult to remember a time when we had such mixed feelings about the Lions, but where the cumulative experiences of fans seemed more relevant.

The pressure and uncertainty starts at the top of the organization with its owner, Martha Firestone-Ford. The 94-year-old former debutante reflects the historical roots of Detroit as she is automotive royalty by birth and marriage.

The granddaughter of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder, Harvey S. Firestone, and married to the grandson of Ford Motor Company founder, Henry Ford, Mrs. Ford inherited the Lions from her late husband, William Clay Ford in 2014. (source: Forbes website)

Ford is worth $1.4 billion according to Forbes (the franchise is worth $1.95 billion) but was married to William Clay Ford in 1947, prior to him buying the team in 1963-1964 for $4.5 million dollars. While the city of Detroit has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in recent years, the Motor City’s sports teams have all fallen into a black hole.

The Lions are arguably the best chance for Detroit in the next couple of years to compete for a league title. And they could completely miss the playoffs in 2020.

Mrs. Ford seemed unwilling to quantify what successful football and exactly what the “meaningful games” she expects to see in 2020 in her end-of-season remarks. Do the Detroit Lions have to win the division, a playoff game, both, or simply have a winning record?

We really don’t know but it seems typical of the mixed messages Lions fans and the surrounding communities have grown accustomed to from their leaders.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t good intentions. Mrs. Ford has cleaned house but brought in a crew of largely unproven executives to run the team. She is trying but has little experience in fixing an NFL franchise.