Friday, November 6, 2015

Martha Ford. Seriously?

OK Mach, you got me. I couldn't resist. On with more gibberish.

Martha Ford, widow and heiress of the late William Clay, recently came out of seclusion to tell the world that GM Martin Mayhew and President Tom Lewand had been fired from the Detroit Lions. Of course she didn't take any questions at this press "conference" because she likely wouldn't have been able to answer them.

Dear Martha read from a prepared script -- likely composed by a Honolulu blue and silver lawyer under retainer. Multi-billionaires can afford lots of lawyers -- just in case of whatever. Yet it appeared painfully obvious these words had not originated from Mrs. Ford herself.

And that's OK. Even Presidents of the USA don't write their own speeches. But they've reviewed the work of others beforehand and are really good when it comes to presentation. Martha seemed to stumble a bit here and there, as if this was the first time she'd seen the material.

But c'mon, the woman is 90 years old. Raised in the Firestone tire family and married into the Ford automobile empire, it's likely she's enjoyed a lot of perks over the decades, but never had to step up in front of a gang of rabid reporters before explaining a business decision.

This is not to poke fun at anybody that has reached the age of 90. Some remain sharp as a tack. Al Jaffee, cartoonist supreme for MAD magazine, is 94, and continues to come up with brilliant biting satire in every issue. George Burns and Bob Hope lived to be 100, and were beloved for their humor until the days they died. And I'm pretty sure William Shatner must be approaching the century mark. At least it seems like he's been around that long. He remains quite capable of making even dumber commercials than the play the Lions have long exhibited on the gridiron.

But Martha and the ever-bumbling Lions movers and shakers appeared to miss the boat --again -- on this one. She/they fired GM Martin Mayhew, a former cornerback for the Redskins/Bucs with dubious skills -- only to replace him with Sheldon White? A former cornerback of the Lions? Really? True, it probably beats plugging in Oprah or Judge Judy, but still.... This is progress?

It was hard to tell which was the more comical. Martha saying the Lions haven't given up on this season yet or the reporters taking it seriously. The Lions are terrible in all phases of the game. Currently at 1-7, they'll be lucky to win 2 or 3 more games this year. Who's kidding who? This team has bottomed out -- again.

But credit to Martha for keeping an, ahem, stiff upper lip and carrying on the Ford party line. She said her Lions aren't out of it yet this year. Anything is possible. Indeed it is. Maybe the Edsel will make a surprise comeback and be car of the year in 2016. Or the Pinto. Hey, yours truly, for one, is just thankful they solved that pesky exploding tire problem a while back.

Quick quiz. Whatever happened to the Cougar? That was a very cool ride and a Ford product.

Mrs. Ford also said a nationwide search would be conducted to find "permanent" replacements for the fired GM and Pres. Evidently, the two they plugged in are just stop-gap measures. That raises a few questions.

Whether Martha realizes it or not, this season has already been lost for the Lions. It's a throwaway. So why plug in a couple temps right now? Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to have already completed the "search" before axing the former execs? She still has to honor the remainder of their contracts -- as in pay them. So what's the point in promoting a couple folks from within -- and giving them raises -- if they're likely going to go bye-bye anyway when the season is over?

To boot, if she's looking to lure away a couple proven front-office types from other teams -- her hands are tied until the season and/or playoffs/Super Bowl is over in a few months. They're under contract. No meddling allowed until THEIR season is over. Further, what savvy NFL type would even WANT to go to Detroit and inherit that mess? Money talks, but the truly smart people also consider career ramifications. The history of the Detroit Lions is what it is -- and it's not a pretty sight. All the others before, and they are many, have failed. Food for thought before making such a leap into the abyss.

Answer to quick quiz. Cougars are still very much around. Don't believe that? Wander into most any pub at 1:00 AM. They'll be on the prowl -- guaranteed.

What's that? There's a chance Jim Caldwell could get promoted to GM? Only the Lions would consider such a bonehead move. The man has once again risen to his level of incompetence, crashed and burned, and the Edsels, sorry, Lions ownership might bump him upstairs? REALLY?

Say it ain't so. As GM, who might Caldwell hire as his head coach? Caitlyn Jenner? That would be interesting. The he/she could probably use the work, but still....  How about Bieber? Or maybe bring in a head coach by committee. The Radio City Music Hall dancers come to mind. They probably don't know squat about running a football team either, but they'd be a lot more fun to watch on the sidelines than Caldwell ever was, and the long-suffering -- if sappy -- fans in attendance at Ford Field could finally start getting some entertainment value for the big bucks they continue to shell out. Why not? And hey, if some of them put on a few pounds, maybe they could do double duty as offensive linemen on the field. Couldn't be any worse than the rag-tag sieve bunch the Lions already have.

But the Fords have never exactly been known as forward thinking progressives. I'm betting Martha is on the conservative side herself. That brings us back to the national search to restaff her front office. Perhaps there are other options she could consider.

Lions President? Go get Rush Limbaugh.
GM? How about Bill O'Reilly?

They'd likely jump at the jobs -- and it doesn't get any more conservative than that.

Make Presidential wannabe Ben Carson the Chief Medical Officer. His first order of business? Mandatory lobotomies for any and all players that can't remember the snap count. BC's a former brain surgeon. He could handle it. Besides, if a player is already that retarded, might as well make him into a total green bean and get it over with. It would only take a couple of those, and I flat out guarantee you all those ridiculous false-START penalties would STOP. This would represent progress, a whole new concept for the Lions, heretofore unknown.

Idle thought: Playing the Packers in Green Bay hasn't gone well for the Lions in a long time. They haven't won there since 1991. While the Lions were getting clobbered in London by the KC Chiefs last week, the Packers got smoked in Denver by the Broncos. This week, the Lions are mercifully off while the Packers have to visit another undefeated team in the Carolina Panthers. Brutal. The Lions better hope Aaron Rodgers and Co. win that game. Because if not, coming off two losses in a row, the Cheesers will be highly pissed and out to prove a point against the hapless puddy-tats of Detroit. That could get ugly.

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