Can Sheila succeed where the Lions have failed for so long?
At her introductory phone conference on Tuesday, Sheila Ford Hamp tried her best to answer what course she will take this franchise. She did her best to stress that she wants to win. That losing bothers her as much as it does the rest of us.
As a former athlete herself who used to be a very competitive tennis player, she understands that losing sucks. Did Bill Ford Sr. or Martha truly understand how losing feels? I really don’t how much if at all they ever competed athletically, but athlete’s that compete hard, know how much losing can tear you up inside.
I believe that Sheila understands that. So when she says she hates to lose, we should believe that. I would also imagine that while she was a believer in keeping general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia in place for the sake of continuity since she feels that is an important element to winning, I do think they are on a short leash.
So ultimately, while there are ways that this next generation of Ford ownership will be different from her parents, how successful she will be is going to come down to the one area that has been a problem for this franchise for decades; the ability to identify and hire the right general manager and head coach, then allow them to do their job.
It is clear that Sheila Ford Hamp wants Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia to be the right people. But what if they’re not? I firmly believe that if they can’t produce at a competitive enough level, then she will be willing to go in another direction.
Fans of the Honolulu Blue and Silver have wide-ranging opinions about Quinn and Patricia. Some believe in staying the course and that they will lead the Lions to the promised land. Others think that precious time is being wasted by not cleaning house.
If Quinn and Patricia do lead the Lions to the promised land or at least make them true contenders that get close, then Sheila will deserve credit for her patience, but if they fail, then we will truly see what Mrs. Hamp is capable of.
Will she make a hire on her own? Will she petition the league for assistance like her Mother did? What will be the outcome of that hire?
Yes, Lions fans, your team is still owned by the Ford family and maybe it is true that they will never win with the Ford’s in charge. But what if this next generation of the Ford family does turn around this franchise?
The evolution of the Ford family’s ownership already started with Martha. If Sheila can now take it to new heights, then there may very well finally be hope for the Detroit Lions.