Monday, November 2, 2015

Detroit Lions. Blow it up

You know what I call the Lions traveling all the way to England to play a game? A needless waste of jet fuel. They could stink it up just as easy stateside while saving a few thousand bucks to boot.

And stink it up they did against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was not only bad and humiliating, it's got to the point of being downright comical. This team is in a shambles -- total free-fall. Getting blistered 45-10 by KC, who was only 2-5 going in?

Mercifully, the Lions have a bye next week, but then they go to Green Bay. Good luck at Lambeau. Now 1-7, the Lions will surely be 1-8 after the vastly superior Cheesers manhandle them. If KC can beat them by a whopping 5 touchdowns at a neutral site, what do think Green Bay will do to them at home?

Despite the usual Detroit hype with the koolaided media inciting the die-hards, it's pretty much now official. The wheels have come off this team -- again. They've become a joke. Cannon fodder for late night punchlines. The coaches and players keep repeating the same old tired rhetoric. We work hard. We study hard. We practice hard. Everything is good through the week. But we just can't seem to get it done when the actual game comes around.

No kidding, guys. You make the Keystone Kops look like a Navy Seal team when it comes to execution against live competition. The time has come.

If anybody in the Ford family is even dimly aware they still own an NFL team, one of them needs to emerge from their collective football coma and clean house. Top to bottom.

GM Martin Mayhew should be fired immediately. It's long been obvious he's clueless. So should head coach Jim Caldwell and his entire staff. Equally incompetent. And don't stop there.

Every single member of the Detroit Lions' staff should be terminated. That means secretaries, medical personnel, trainers, PR folks, the marketing department, equipment managers, scouts, video techs, and all the way down to lowly waterboys. EVERYBODY has go to. That means Tom Lewand too. Sure, he's just a bean counter, but the purge has to be complete.

History tells us that when an ancient Egyptian pharaoh died, all his man and maid servants, though quite innocent, had to be killed off as well so the next guy in charge could start with a totally clean slate. Seemed to work for them. So should it be for the Detroit Lions. Cleaning house means CLEANING HOUSE. All of them.

Further, if the Fords can find a competent football-savvy executive willing to run their franchise -- no given -- he/she should blow up the roster as well.

First step? Trade Calvin Johnson to a contending team. This makes sense on a few different fronts. The Megatron is a good guy and deserves to play for a contender -- which he'll never experience in Detroit.

Second, he still HAS major trade value. Though he's no longer considered among the Top 5 receivers, he could fetch a sizeable booty in future draft picks. And let's face it. The Lions need a lot of help at a lot of positions.

Third, they're not going to get anywhere near a Super Bowl with or without CJ in the next few years. Plus, it clears $20 million or so a year of cap space. If the Lions hang on to Johnson for another couple years, given the beatings he continues to take, he'll likely be all washed up. No trade value whatsoever. Do it now. Whatever happens in the future -- happens. But it can't be much worse than their current predicament. It's worth a shot.

Also put QB Matthew Stafford on the trading block. He's supposed to be all this and all that. He's one of only a few QBs to have ever thrown for 5000 yards in a season. Yeah? Well he's never won a single playoff game either. After the 2014 season was over, the Georgia Peach had some less than admirable career stats. A 3-32 record against teams with a winning record including 0-18 on the road. Since 2009, with Stafford at QB, the Lions had gone 40-56. This year, while compiling another pitiful 1-7 record, the Lions have only (barely) beaten the Chicago Bears. So if I have this right, Stafford's career win/loss mark is now 41-63. That raises a question. How many other teams would even be interested in him? Strong arm, yes. Mobile, no. Prone to bonehead decisions, most definitely. The Lions, their media, and fans might think Stafford is some sort of elite player. That is likely true -- when it comes to the Lions. They haven't had even a half way decent QB in decades. But how he is perceived elsewhere around the league is a whole other story. Yet trading him would clear another $20 million of cap space and might bring a couple high draft picks in return. Maybe, but what other team would take on his salary, losing history, and be willing to part with a couple players/picks as well? Cleveland? Houston? Miami? Jacksonville? Good teams already have good QBs. It would be interesting to see what sort of offers Stafford might fetch from others if dangled as trade bait.

And to make the purge complete, get rid of the homer announcers, both on radio and TV. Also revoke all press passes to the local media. It's also long been obvious most of these people lost their objectivity when they started swilling the Honolulu blue and silver koolaid years ago. Bring in a whole new batch that's willing and able to be critical when the Lions deserve it instead of feeding the public the politically correct swill that anybody with a half a brain knows to be nonsense. Tell it like it is.

So to recap, the only way the Detroit Lions can ever become competitive, much less Super Bowl contenders, is to blow the whole thing up and start over. Sure, it would likely take several years, and might not work at that. But after over a half century of being bottom feeders, what do they have to lose?

Idle thought. The noted actor/politician Fred Thompson has passed on. Maybe God decided to reverse HIS mortgage.

And congrats to the Kansas City Royals. 2015 World Series champions. Let the celebration begin in KC. It's been 30 years since their last and only title. Pretty cool. And remember, they don't even have a pro basketball or hockey team. That just makes it even more special.


  1. I have a feeling that both Megatron and Stafford will win SB rings elsewhere.

    Do you know about the Michigan Panthers?

    1. I vaguely remember them. Bobby Hebert as QB and they won a title back in the 80s? Can't recall the name of the league, but it was short-lived. THOSE Panthers???

    2. Yep. Those Panthers.

    3. Got me thinking about those guys so I did a little research on the USFL and the Panthers. Curious, though. Why did you ask?

    4. I brought them up because they did what the Lions couldn't do: Win a championship. Imagine if the USFL still existed; they would put the Ford Lions out of business.

    5. Noble thought, but not sure I'm buying it. The USFL only lasted two years and they played their games in late spring and the summer. Before the Godzilla NFL cranked up another season. Methinks the NFL considered them more of a nuisance than serious competition. Had the the two leagues gone head to head during the fall -- which was discussed by some in the USFL -- for attendance, revenue, TV time, etc., I'm pretty sure the USFL would have crashed and burned anyway. Agreed, the Lions sucked then and still do. But the NFL is so deep-rooted in the American sports psyche, there's just no undoing it. That, and good luck trying to take on a consortium of 32 billionaire owners when it comes to "product". They try to beat each others brains out on game day, but methinks they'd circle the wagons in a hurry to fend off all challengers to their empire. But yeah, I also agree the Fords are long overdue to sell the franchise to somebody that would take an active interest in the Lions and have the brains to hire qualified personnel to run the organization.