Across the entire world of sports, each team develops an identity throughout their own sport. Identities are forged by consistency, whether that be for success or failure. Some teams are consistently good, while some are consistently bad. A few are, well… consistently inconsistent.
In the NFL, it’s not very hard to figure the identity of most teams. For instance, the Green Bay Packers. What is the first thing you think of when the Packers are brought up? Aaron Rodgers is the focal point of that team. They are going to score points. Rodgers is going to throw the ball with tremendous efficiency. Plus they play very physical defense. They are a perennial threat to not only make the playoffs every year but win the NFC North.
Another example. The New England Patriots. Not much needs to be said about them. Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. They score points. Then they score some more points. Then, when they get tired of scoring points, they prevent you from scoring points. Again, they are playoff/division champion threats every single year.
Let’s take a minute to discuss the identity of our beloved Detroit Lions. The first thing that comes to mind? Well, right now the identity can be summed up in one word: losing. They are a losing team and have been for the better part of 20 years. They have made it to the playoffs five times in those 20 years, with each appearance having resulted in a loss, ending each season. Yes, it was a breath of fresh air to have made it to the playoffs last season. But that season appears to have been an exception to an overall losing culture.
So, how do you change the identity of a team? At this point, team owner Martha Ford appears to be taking some of the proper steps. Team president Tom Lewand has been fired, as well as general manager Martin Mayhew. Offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi was fired, as well.
On Sunday, it was also announced that the team has hired an outside firm to assist them in making the proper hire for the general manager position, as well as the position of team president. Whether the firm decides that interim general manager Sheldon White and interim COO Allison Maki are to stay in those positions remains to be seen. But, with the hiring of outside help, we can at least be rest assured that there is actual motivation to find the correct fits for the jobs.
At the end of the day, Lions’ fans can begin breathing again. While these steps are all the beginning of a long process that will not result in immediate success, they are the proper steps that need to be taken to change the identity of the team. Is it fair to expect the identity of the Lions to change overnight? No, but we can finally sleep sound knowing the team is beginning to trend in the right direction.