New Detroit Lions majority owner Sheila Ford Hamp discussed her new role, the team, but she failed to talk about winning the Super Bowl.
If you listened to or read summaries of the new Detroit Lions majority owner, Sheila Ford Hamp’s introductory conference call, you may have missed a few things. Mrs. Hamp, the daughter of William Clay Ford and Martha Firestone Ford, was genial, open, and did discuss many topics in a roughly half-hour-long call to media.
As an owner of a professional football franchise, she refused to tell fans that she wanted to bring a Super Bowl win to Detroit, or even use the phrase, “Super Bowl” so let’s discuss why that’s problematic.
Lots of media outlets are discussing the positives from the conference call that allowed media to ask some questions of the new majority owner; she spoke at length about her desire to be a learner and get to know the organization more thoroughly through a hands-on approach similar to her mother. It was her introductory conference and she’s never done one before.
Perhaps at the end of this article, you will be upset at anyone who criticizes her first attempt at flying solo. We aren’t here to say that she failed in total. What we want to communicate is that fans want more than what the Detroit Lions have given us back for our loyalty and she missed an opportunity to speak directly to her long-suffering fans.
In this context, Sheila Ford Hamp had a platform to set an ambitious agenda for her time as an owner and chose to avoid the elephant in the room. She knows why football exists. Hamp has to know that her team is in a sports drought that goes beyond her family’s 56-year foray into ownership and is among the few longest streaks without a championship in all of the pro sports, right?
Do you plan on bringing an NFL title to Detroit?
After being introduced by president Rod Wood she gave her opening, prepared remarks; Hamp honored her mother and discussed the “big shoes” she has to fill in replacing her. She also thanked her family and acknowledged her siblings as a major part of what she described as a “family endeavor.”
Hamp continued by discussing the challenges of the times, the pandemic, racial injustice, and the civil unrest that faces our country. We don’t think that any of that was out of line, nor was anything particularly controversial; she said what you would hope about current events, indicating that she isn’t locked in a bubble, full audio recording available on the Detroit Lions website, here.
What we want to be clear about is that none of that is bad. She wants to listen, learn, support her players, and that is never a bad thing. Also, she seems like a bright lady who is intent on getting to know her team better from all ends. We applaud her for her apparent willingness to get her hands dirty and do the work to understand the entire organization but that shouldn’t preclude competitive team goals being stated, it would have been the best thing that you could’ve said during the entire teleconference.