Mount Rushmore of most hated figures in Detroit Lions history

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images /

2. Matt Millen

Millen had a nice career as an NFL linebacker, playing a total of 12 seasons and winning a Super Bowl ring with three franchises (Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins). He has worked as a broadcaster for many years since.

Nothing Millen had on his resume to qualify him to be a general manager. But he was hired anyway as Lions GM in 2001, as Ford Sr. had faith he could do the job, and he somehow lasted into the 2008 season. Sometimes outside the box hires work, but over that time when Millen was a decision maker the Lions went 31-84 (.270 winning percentage), or 31-81 over seven full seasons is a better measure.

Millen had one big draft hit, Calvin Johnson at No. 2 overall in 2007, among a litany of misses too long to list out fully (Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington, Mike Williams, etc.). The coaches he hired, Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci and Rod Marinelli seemed destined to fail, and they did. Free agent signings that worked out were few.

The “Fire Millen” movement and chants in Detroit spread to other games in other sports quite easily before he was finally gone.

All these years later, the mention of Millen’s name is still sure to make Lions fans a mix of angry, queasy and lingeringly hateful.