We all want to know the Lions owner gets us
Football doesn’t require magic, Mrs. Hamp. It isn’t rocket science or any other concept that is difficult for normal people to grasp, either. Football is a game that you can learn from watching and listening to broadcasts without any formal education to speak of. The Internet can explain any football concept within a few minutes from a common smartphone and games can be watched almost every day of the week during the Fall.
Mrs. Hamp has been attending games since they were being played at Briggs Stadium, aka Tiger Stadium, by her own admission. This mention of magic formulas sounds eerily in line with past aloof Ford family rhetoric which always seemed to say, “We don’t know or care what happened but we’ll be expecting you and your money back next season.”
Hamp tried to make the argument that being a former tennis player, that she is a competitive person, and driven to win. When specifically asked by Mike Stone of 97.1 The Ticket, about the perception that her family is not as upset as fans are when they lose, she shot back that, “Nobody hates losing more than my family, that’s for sure.”
Yes! A sign of life! Then, not much more about where she wants to take the team but onto her promise that she will make herself more available to the media. So close…
We cannot refute her claims of disdain for losing but it does seem important to remember that winning in her chosen sport of tennis isn’t any more magic than in football. If we went back to her days as a competitive national tennis player and we could ask her what her goals were as a player, would she have said something as generic as “improvements” or would she have spoken about wins or competing for the Michigan State tennis title she would win at age seventeen?
Hamp went on to be on the Yale women’s tennis team and to be part of the first class of women to graduate from Yale, as well, according to her bio on the Detroit Lions website. She surely didn’t accomplish those things without being goal-oriented or stating her objectives.
Hamp’s missed opportunity
Why hide your passion to win from Detroit Lions fans if it is there? Although Sheila Ford Hamp spoke about confidence in improvements and that fans deserve a winner, she seemed to do what the Ford family has always done best, protect their own reputation and the people they are loyal to first. At the same time, never mentioning the ultimate goal of the team sport she owns a stake in is troubling to fans.
While no one can blame her for not wanting to throw her parents under the bus for never appearing in a Super Bowl, only winning one playoff game in 11 appearances, she missed a great opportunity to inject some needed fire into her team and the fanbase. The mention of a Super Bowl appearance, even as a future goal, or stating that the team was focused on winning the division and competing for a world title, would have been universally celebrated- even if only used as a sales pitch to potential season ticket holders.
That’s not to say that it might’ve been joked about by naysayers, or brought up in the future by critics, or even taken by a select few as her disrespecting her family. Some would’ve called it a shameless pitch to sell tickets or to cover up her family’s track record, we’re sure.
Hamp did promise to not interfere in the running of the team; we’re not sure that mentioning the Super Bowl would be meddlesome, though. She even seemed to shy away from the idea that she is ultimately responsible for the decisions and results of the team.
Maybe, again, the blame is ours. We shouldn’t expect a new owner to set big goals, show emotion, or take a leap of faith. The Detroit Lions website’s home page requests fans to reserve their season tickets now, though, so they seem to be asking for us to take a leap of faith with our money and team loyalty.
Hamp didn’t take that risk, even though the biggest knock on the team is the “losing culture.” She could’ve helped change the culture by using her position to set people straight. Instead, we got more well-intentioned sentiments about improving, confidence in the organization, and all of the things that owners say after they’ve been doing press conferences for years as if she isn’t interested in an individual stamp on the team that she spoke about several times.
If you want an individual stamp on the team that is significant, win a championship and yours will be the most celebrated in our history!
Mrs. Hamp was classy, calm, and collected, which isn’t bad for the first interview as the owner but she sounded like another Ford. At the end of the day, we watch the Detroit Lions to see them win it all. It would’ve bought her a lot of positive press and fan appreciation to speak about the title.
It would’ve been great, for once, to hear the Detroit Lions owner state unequivocally that she will not settle for less than a Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy not just for her family but for the entire city. It’s okay to mention the Super Bowl, that’s what we wanted to hear you talk about.