CLEAN HOUSE!! New slogan to Mr Ford

Discussion in 'Football, Baseball, and Hockey' started by Ozarkruffrider, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Ozarkruffrider

    Ozarkruffrider First Round Draft Pick

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    We have something new to chant:

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]A Plea to the Fords and the Fans[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]by Eric "Felix" Fossett[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]11/19/2008[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]A plea to both the Fords and the fans: please don’t be satisfied with the termination of Matt Millen. Clean House![/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]During his 7+ year tenure as GM of the Detroit Lions, the Matt Millen led Detroit Lions have compiled a dismal of 31 – 85 record. No one would dispute the colossal role Millen has played in this record, however very few seem to hold his fellow co-workers and staff accountable for any of the teams failures, at least from the perspective of this fan. We could go on endlessly blaming Millen solely for the many poor draft choices, failed coaches, and questionable free-agent signings, but the reality is, Millen was not alone in constructing this team and making these decisions.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]The failure of the Lions is as an organization, not a single individual. The problems with the Detroit Lions start at the ownership level and continue down through the players. Ford is regarded as a very giving and loyal owner, to a fault. Ownership has to hold their employees accountable and demand excellence, not reward ineptitude. At the GM/President level, there has been much speculation regarding many of the draft picks that Millen has made, mainly, were they all his picks, Fords picks, Mariuccis picks, etc. regardless, his draft picks, coaching picks and free-agent signings have not led to success. Likewise, there have also been rumors of deceitful practices in regards to free-agent contracts with agreed upon terms not being delivered in the final contract. Furthermore, there has been plenty of blame to be shouldered by the coaching staffs, from taking the wind, to open criticism of players, to poorly balanced play calling, to lack of development of drafted players. We must also not dismiss the failures of the scouting department and their lack of discovering mid- to late- round draft picks that should develop to be solid contributors that are the core of the team. Lastly, we must include the players. The players must be included in this analysis because ultimately, they are the ones on the field. Through the years, the players have had many different issues, ranging from lack of talent, to lack of mental acumen, including, but not limited to dropped passes, missed PAT snaps, INTs, fumbles, and missed assignments to name a few. The failures are not of an individual named Millen, nor are they of the team named the Lions, but they are of the entire organization named the Detroit Lions from ownership down to the players.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Once we have established that there is plenty of blame to be shared across the entire organization for nearly a decade of losing football, we can stop putting a single face, Millen, to the problem and start looking towards the future, but first, we must look at the present.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Currently, Martin Mayhew is the acting GM of the Detroit Lions. While there has been very little, if any, negative publicity surrounding Mayhew, a brief review of his history and a discussion of his role while a member of the front office will show that he is not the ideal choice to remain as GM of the Detroit Lions.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Briefly, Mayhew graduated from Florida State with a BS in business management before playing 9 years in the NFL as a CB for the Buffalo Bills. In 2000, he received his Law Degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He then completed the NFL program for Managers at Stanford’s School of Business in 2003. In 1999, while working on his Law degree, he worked a 9 month internship in pro personnel for the Washington Redskins. He is credited with helping with their draft board that saw them take LaVar Arrington #2 overall, Chris Samuels #3 overall, and no other players to speak of in the rest of the draft. Prior to joining the Lions in 2001, Mayhew was Director of Football Administration for the XFL where he was involved in developing procedures for player transactions. Mayhew’s initial function with the Lions was Senior Director of Football Administration/Staff Counsel and was promoted to senior vice president in 2003. His key functions were described as “coordinating the team’s salary cap objectives, player contract negotiations and all team-related legal affairs in conjunction with Executive Vice President & COO Tom Lewand. He will also assist Lewand on all team matters pertaining to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement and League policies and procedures. Mayhew is primarily responsible for all football operations (including team travel, the medical staff, equipment operations, video department, groundskeeping, player development and security), human resources, practice facility operations and the cafeteria staff. Mayhew is also involved in the Lions’ Inclusion Council.”[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Looking at Mayhew’s role for the past 4+ years, what stands out is “primarily responsible for all football operations… player development…” It is no secret that one of the Lions biggest failures is the lack of player development. Furthermore, one of the biggest indictments against Millen was the claim that he “forced” players on coaches. That sounds like a role for the player development coordinator. It seems likely that if players were indeed forced on a coach that it would have been a front office decision, not solely a Millen decision. Then there is the matter of salary cap problems and the inability to sign free-agents as a result. Wouldn’t this also fall under the role of “coordinating the team’s salary cap objectives and player contract negotiations…?” Again, this seems to have been a failure of the organization falling under Mayhew’s watch.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Many analysts and journalists have come forward saying Mayhew is a rising star, an up and comer, etc. and would be a great choice to be the Lions new GM. While this may be true, there are several reasons that the Fords need to pass on him as the permanent GM and need to fire him outright. The Lions organization is in such complete disarray that now is not the time to experiment, once again, on an inexperienced GM that has not, in all apparent contexts, fulfilled his current roles in exemplary fashion. Perhaps there is more to the story and Mayhew was at odds with Millen’s decisions frequently, but if that were the case, something can be said for a lack of integrity it would take to stand idly by for 7+ years while watching wrong decisions being made. This leads us to either not fulfilling his duties, or lacking the integrity to take a stand against wrong decisions. Furthermore, Mayhew has been a mainstay of a losing organization. His continued employment with this organization would only serve as a reminder of the past mistakes and rewarding failure.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]In addition to Mayhew, the front office mismanagement woes can also be shared with Executive Vice President and COO Tom Lewand. Lewand has been a member of the Lions front office for over 12 years. During this span, there have been several instances that suggest Lewand is guilty of misconduct in player negotiations. The assertions claim that contracts received for final approval by players did not include the terms agreed upon verbally. Furthermore, we can point to cap troubles the Lions have run into, immediately coming to mind is the Bobby Ross era that forced Millen to clean house to create cap space and rebuild. In addition, there are issues of waiting until a player becomes a free-agent until beginning negotiations for a new contract. What this maneuver has done, in 2 instances that come immediately to mind, is force the Lions to franchise tag a player and severely over pay to retain the player. If memory serves, Jeff Backus and Cory Redding both wanted contract extensions the year before their contracts were up. The Lions refused to negotiate early, in turn allowing these players to put in good to great years with little equivalent or better talent on the free-agent market. This forced the Lions to grossly over pay to retain these players. The line of thinking on this is beyond this fan. If these players didn’t play well, you couldn’t justify paying them a substantial amount of money that would have been dictated on the open market and we would have lost them. If they play well for that one season, you have to pay them an average of the top highest paid at that position. It was a lose-lose situation and Tom Lewand is responsible for these bad contracts the Lions are now stuck with.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Then there is also the recent situation in which it is reported that Lewand responded to a fans concern regarding numerous problems and broken promises about his season tickets with the infamous quote “F**k’em till next year.” While the quote in and of itself, is understandable as a human being under pressure, the fact that one of his main responsibilities with the Lions is public relations and ticketing, it is worrisome that any sentiment was uttered in a negative aspect towards the fan when it was clearly the Lions mistake. Furthermore, even if you ignore the comment, it is even more telling that Lewand attacked and threatened the media when they tried to do research, as good journalists are apt to do. Between questionable business practices, average salary cap management, poor foresight and horrid public relations with fans, Tom Lewand does not deserve to keep his job as a member of the Lions front office.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]In addition to the front office, the coaching staff has also failed to live up to expectations. While Rod Marinelli and Co. have led the Lions to a poor record for the past 2+ seasons, it is difficult to place the blame squarely on their shoulders because of the many failings of the front office, but that’s not to say that they deserve none of the blame. Marinelli came in with the right attitude, “pound the rock,” “put it on tape,” “no excuses,” etc., and his hard-nosed style and determination to turn the attitude of this team around was refreshing and openly embraced by the predominately blue-collar Detroit fan base. However, this much needed attitude change has not manifested itself in wins. The apparent disconnect between the staffs message and the teams performance necessitates the need for a comprehensive review and evaluation of Marinelli and his staff.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]During Rod Marinelli’s short tenure in Detroit he has received many criticisms, some deserved, some not. One of the most common complaints is his lack of head coaching experience. While his lack of experience as a head coach is a valid argument, it should not be a decisive point for the simple fact that other head coaches have made the position-to-head coach transition successfully. The fact of the matter is, he is apparently not a very good coach, as demonstrated not by his record, but by his lack of emotion on the sideline, his poor challenge record, not fighting for his team when the refs make mistakes, etc. His experience, or lack thereof, prior to becoming the head coach is not the issue, the issue is his inability to manage games, handle the officials and apparently, have his team ready to play from the opening whistle.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Another common critique revolves his hiring of Joe Barry, his son-in-law, as the Lions defensive coordinator. It is unfair to place blame on Marinelli for the hiring considering that Barry was in high demand and would have received a similar offer elsewhere. However, it is fair to place blame of the failures of the Lions defense on Barry and Marinelli. While it is unclear the exact amount of control that Marinelli and Barry were allowed in the acquisition of players, it is a safe assumption that they were given a significant amount of leeway in the decisions based on the amount of ex-Buccaneers and the lip service they paid these players. If Marinelli inexplicably manages to retain his position as head coach of the Lions next season, the decision has to be founded on the understanding that Barry will be relieved of his duties.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Another common criticism of Marinelli is his failure to impose his identity on the offensive side of the ball. Along with this observation is the criticism of firing Mike Martz. Lets be clear hear, Marinelli has the right concept of winning football with his “pound the rock” philosophy, however his lack of attention and/or comprehension of the offense is his failure. Some may fault Marinelli for the firing of Martz given the current ineptitude of the Lions offense, however the Martz philosophy did not match the type of football Marinelli wanted to see and he should be credited with taking the bold move to take steps to correct the lack of ball control and time of possession. The mistake was made when he promoted a coach from within that had minimal offensive coordinator experience and even less success calling plays. The mistake is apparent in the obvious confusion and disarray the Lions offense has exhibited this season. What is even more condemning is the lack of confidence in the system, to the effect that new schemes were introduced and abandoned in as many weeks. This indecisiveness speaks volumes to the incompetence and inexperience of the coaches in their current positions.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]As if the previous reasons aren’t enough to condemn Marinelli’s career as the head coach of the Detroit Lions, it is now seemingly apparent that he is a hypocrite. One could point to the situation with Joe Cullen and his legal trouble as a sign that Marinelli is a hypocrite, however this analysis contends that Marinelli providing a second chance and help to someone in obvious need was fully within his preached philosophy. The real reason that Marinelli could, should, be viewed as a hypocrite lies in his handling of the current situation with Daunte Culpepper. For nearly 3 years now, Marinelli has preached “put it on tape.” However, what tape was he viewing when he named Culpepper the starting QB after 2-3 practices after nearly 2 years out of football? What tape was he watching when he named Culpepper the starter for the Carolina game when it was obvious that Stanton played a better game than Culpepper? This is a clear case of Marinelli not following through on his words. At this point, everything he says is just lip service and means nothing. A coach that can’t be trusted to keep his word to his players is just a waste of space.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]We could continue on with an in depth analysis of the entire coaching staff, namely the offensive and defensive coordinators, but the reality of the situation is that there is no need as the results, or rather, the lack of results are self-evident. The only comment that needs to be mentioned, in regards to Colletto, is that he should never have been hired as offensive coordinator in the first place. He had limited experience in this role and no success to speak of while performing similar functions. As far as Barry is concerned, he cannot be faulted for the serious lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but he can shoulder plenty of blame for not having his players ready to play or adapting his scheme to maximize his players abilities. The fact that there has been many examples of no backside contain on run plays this year demonstrates the poor coaching the players have received.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]There really is no need to go into a long diatribe documenting and describing the failures of the scouting department, however the names Sheldon White and Scott McEwan need to be brought to the forefront. Sheldon White has been employed by the Detroit Lions since 1997, and has been the Director of Pro Personnel since 2000. Scott McEwan is the Director of College Scouting and no information is readily available on him, although mention of him as an employee of the Lions can be found as far back as 2003. During the tenures of the Pro and College Scouting Directors, the Lions have shown very little success at either drafting talent, in any round, bringing in quality free agents, or properly evaluating the talent already on the roster. These are the failures of the men entrusted to evaluate and scout college and professional players in conjunction with the entire front office. There has been no outstanding talent drafted in the first rounds (GM), nor much in the way of talent developed from the later rounds (Scouting). The Detroit Lions are in their current position partly because of the disappointments of the scouting department, and as such, they need to clean house here as much as they do the front office.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]The players. Not much more can be said. The players lack talent and coaching. They are also to blame for the losing ways of the Detroit Lions, but they cannot be faulted for their lack of talent nor the significant contracts some have been given. While the players are also share the blame, the front office and scouting departments are the real culprits behind the roster deficiencies since 2001 and therefore, the abysmal record.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]The Plea[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]To the Fords:[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Please do not be satisfied with firing Millen. Please realize that you have a passionate fan base that has been loyal for so long without having the joy that only a winning team can bring and that you are in danger of losing these fans permanently if drastic changes are not made. Please do the right thing by recognizing that the entire organization, from the top to the bottom, has been dysfunctional for years and needs to be purged. You are in a unique situation in that your team is currently without an experienced GM. Many knowledgeable football minds are offering their advice. Rumors suggest the NFL is willing to offer suggestions. Please do not think that you are more intelligent than proven winners. You have shown for decades that your way does not lead to success. Please take this opportunity to listen to the advice of others outside the organization and clean house to bring in experienced and proven winners to give your city and the fan base a product that they can be proud of and that they deserve.[/FONT]

    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]To the Fans:[/FONT]
    [FONT=bookman old style,new york,times,serif]Please do not be satisfied with the firing of Millen. The fans need to realize that Millen was only the face of the problem and that the troubles with the Lions organization run much deeper than just Millen. Since the firing of Millen, the fans have not had a face to direct their frustration towards. I implore you to replace your “Fire Millen” signs with “Clean House” signs. “Clean House,” that is the only way the fans will begin to see any real improvement. Perhaps Mayhew is the next great GM, but he has played a large role in a losing culture so he must go. Mayhew may also maintain the status quo, which is exactly what this organization cannot absorb right now. No, the fans need to make a statement. Please pass the word to your local radio stations, tv station, newspaper journalists, you friends, your neighbors, your family, whoever will listen. Replace those “Fire Millen” signs you see at games with “Clean House” signs. Ford finally listened to the fans and fired Millen this season, perhaps one more public outcry in this potential time of flux will be enough for Ford to do the right thing and CLEAN HOUSE![/FONT]
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Source link?
     
  3. Nemo

    Nemo Fantasy-Football Snub Forum Donor

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    I have followed the Lions all my 54 years and felt that I had a grasp of how things went down within the organizational structure of a team. I also truly believe that many fans likewise could have done a better job of running the Lions over the last 10 or so years. Even the common man who watches football could have done a better job of picking quality players than the Lions have done. The person who wrote the preceding piece certainly deserves a role within the organization, as his prespective is much clearer than anything written or expressed during this era of forgettable football.
     
  4. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Intelligent critique. Strange to see.
     
  5. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    To a significant extent, Mr. Felix equivicates the way that I feel about the Lions. I would go a step higher though and insist that the Ford family sell their controlling interest in the team. I realize that you cant make an owner sell a team but fans can certainly force his hand.

    It's been said many times before that Lions fans should simply stop following the team. Stop going to games. Institute a letter-writing campaign to the television networks that broadcast the games letting them know that you won't be watching. Whenever possible, boycott companies that sponsor the Lions and let them know why your doing it. If you work for a company that purchases corporate ticket-plans or luxury boxes, urge the decision makers to spend their money elsewhere.

    I know, it isn't really fair.
    Detroit is an "NFL City" and as fans, we are entitled to follow our local team that we all grew up with. How dare we let ownership "win" by allowing them to rob us of the pleasure of cheering for the Lions on Sundays. BUT If somehow we could all pull-together as fans and stick it out for one or two years, the Fords would have no choice. - Especially considering that the automotive industry is already in shambles.

    New ownership isn't an absolute guarantee that the team would transform into a winner.
    ...however;
    The existing ownership IS an abosolute guarantee that that the Lions will NEVER be a winner!

    Clean House!
     
  6. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    We should basically unionize and then strike. Organized leisure!
     
  7. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    I started my personal strike a long time ago.

    When Barry retired - I retired.
     
  8. Tha Locstah

    Tha Locstah First Round Draft Pick 1x Fantasy Champion

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    The Lions suck

    :thumb:
     
  9. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Actually, the right to assemble and collaborate is a fundamental function of the process of prosperity. People organize super bowl parties, they organize tailgate parties etc. They organize to buy seats in a section.

    While the goal can be common, that doesn't mean it needs to be everyone working together, but instead hundreds of groups of 4 or 5 people all working independently (like nodes) towards their goal.

    Decentralization is always more powerful than centrally planned initiatives, because there is no single point of failure, and bureaucratic waste/corruption is eliminated.

    I could already see a fan union type thing electing a leader, who negotiates with the Fords to take draft recommendations as a compromise and in return, receiving use of several luxury skyboxes.

    This is how movements are subverted.
     
  10. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    I can honestly say that if WCF tried to "pay me off" by letting me use one of his lux boxes, I'd tell him to go jump in front of a moving Ford F-150.

    In other words: "Willie, I wouldn't watch your team if you paid me to!"
     
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Hookers and beer then. Everyone has a price.
     
  12. round

    round All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

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    well the Ford's might finally be getting a message sent... this is what week 3 in a row for home games that will be blacked out and there are still tickets left for the turkeyday game. how embarrassing will it be when the stadium has great amounts of empty seats on there one and only time on national tv.... and local folks don't get to watch... LOL
     
  13. Ozarkruffrider

    Ozarkruffrider First Round Draft Pick

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    Roscoe, this is just a poster from my Lions website---Lions Underground. I've also posted this on about 6 other websites to get the message out.
     
  14. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Ok, np. I ask for a source so that we give attribution where it is due. The post was so good, I thought it was from the main stream sports media.
     
  15. Ozarkruffrider

    Ozarkruffrider First Round Draft Pick

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    Roscoe, just shows what knowledgeable fans like us can come up with if we have the time and information. You would have thought it was from a regular writer.
     
  16. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    With all the duties Mayhew oversees I don't think he is the problem. basically he paid everybody. Including the grounds keeper.
    Now he may have forced Cpep on Marinate, since Millen is gone but what is he to do ?
    Marinate is one dimensional. The talent seems selected by ,well, poor judgement. And after it is all said and done the Lions will see no continuity through regimes and we'll be starting over from scratch again.
    These guys don't take demotions well. But that's what we need.
     
  17. Nemo

    Nemo Fantasy-Football Snub Forum Donor

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    Regular writers are rarely that forthcoming with such rich information.
    The stylings were of a pro, but the frankness about the team hasn't been seen like that around here for a long time
     
  18. Latinoking90

    Latinoking90 Bench Warmer

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    :nod: Yup :nod:

    They need to be better!
     
  19. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    True, but give credit where credit is due. They're darn consistent.
     
  20. Ozarkruffrider

    Ozarkruffrider First Round Draft Pick

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    Who doubts this now??
     

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