November 30 - Detroit Dirty Dealing
As I read the Associated Press article the other day detailing the most recent
overhaul of the moribund Detroit Lions, two short paragraphs stick out to me
which I think sum up what makes this the worst franchise in football east of
“Millen hired both Mariucci and his predecessor, Marty Mornhinweg, and drafted
or signed most of the current players. Since Millen took over in 2001, Detroit is
an NFL-worst 20-55.
Despite the results, the former NFL linebacker and TV analyst was given a
five-year extension before this season.“
Now, I'm no Steve Mariucci apologist. I'm a Packers fan, and I happen to think that Mariucci benefited
from his predecessors and superior talent to win in San Francisco. But what made Millen such a
good choice five years ago? The same thought process that afforded him an extension this year?
Being a former player and TV analyst wouldn't have made Phil Rizzuto or Deion Sanders a good team
president. Why Millen?
Now, we get to hear Millen say how the Lions “started off this season with high expectations“ and
“have underachieved as a football team.” With one -- yes, that's one -- playoff victory since 1957,
when Bobby Layne was still the quarterback, this team has underachieved for decades. Under
Millen's “leadership” it's been even worse. First, Mornhinweg was the problem. Now Mariucci.
Apparently the tight ends coach and offensive line coach were to blame as well, because they're
gone, too. Ted Tollner's parking spot moved a few blocks away, from the Offensive Coordinator's
space to Tight Ends Coach.
"I was angry after that game," Millen said. "It was disturbing to watch and I didn't want to make a
decision based on anger. We wanted to take our time, go through it logically, and think everything
Too bad Lions brass didn't do the same before handing Millen the keys to this Detroit Clunker.