Despite the Detroit Lions’ change in ownership, they still belong to the Ford family. But does this change bring a ray of hope?
The Detroit Lions made league headlines this week as they changed ownership. Sort of. Martha Firestone Ford announced she was stepping down and relinquishing principal ownership of the Honolulu Blue and Silver to her second eldest daughter Sheila Ford Hamp.
No matter how you choose to perceive it, that does mean the Lions will continue to be a Ford product. For better or worse.
So the question is; will it be business as usual with more losing? Or will this change actually make a positive impact on this franchise?
Only time will ultimately answer the question, but there are certainly reasons why some fans will see this as a continuation of the disaster we know as the Detroit Lions, while others will see a ray of hope on the horizon.
Yet the controversy will start with the family name. The Ford name makes some swell with pride because that is their chosen brand of car. Others can only think about how Henry Ford’s last remaining grandchild was unable to bring the same success to the gridiron that Henry had with the automobile.
When William Clay Ford passed away in 2014, it was his widowed bride, Martha Firestone Ford that took the reigns of this moribund franchise, not Bill Ford Jr as most expected.
However, Martha showed that she isn’t as patient as her late husband. In November of 2015, she threw general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand overboard. She recognized that the time had come to make the move that her husband had been hesitant to do.
She cleaned house and sought advice from the league for a new general manager. The results were Bob Quinn, who two years later fired then-head coach Jim Caldwell and hired his good friend Matt Patricia to lead the Lions.
The results have not yet met the expectations of the Lions fan base, nor Martha’s either, but it was a bold move made with the idea that swallowing her pride and asking for assistance was better than continuing on the blind path this franchise had been on for so long.
The question now is; what will Sheila Ford Hamp do? In what direction will she navigate the bad ship ‘Same Old Lions’?