On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions announced they are bringing back both Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn for the 2020 season, despite a 9-20-1 record over the past two seasons.
As you have probably seen by now, Martha Ford, along with her daughter Sheila and team president Rod Wood, published an open letter to Lions fans. In the letter, Lions’ management attempted to explain their decision to bring back Matt Patricia and then quickly shifted to beg the fans to fill Ford Field for future games.
In case you missed it, please click on the link below.
Well, upon reading the open letter shown above, Lions’ superfan Brian Regan decided to write a letter of his own to the Fords and Lions management on behalf of the fans.
Check it out.
Open Letter for the Fords and Detroit Lions Management (from the Fans)
As a whole, the last 62 years have been abysmal. Our Detroit Lions have been to the Playoffs 12 times since 1957 and have only one Playoff win during that stretch. In the last 20 seasons we the fans have only seen our team in the Playoffs 3 times. The NFL has quite an amazing design of parity where teams that were awful one year can quickly turn it around in a year or two and make the Playoffs and even have success in the Playoffs. We the fans only know that because we watch the rest of the league, as this is certainly not anything our own team shows us.
In the title of this letter you will see “from the fans” in parentheses. This feels like a natural place for those words. We the fans have been nothing but a mere afterthought for decades now. While we do understand that ownership of an NFL team cannot engage every time a cannonball is shot into Ford Motor Company HQ; we are smart enough to know the difference between transparency and being treated like hamsters running on our wheels and eating whatever crap you decide to feed us as we speed ahead into…the same place we were when we stepped onto the hamster wheel a year ago….a decade ago…and yes, over 60 years ago.
It’s not fair that we talk about a 62-year drought. The Fords only purchased the franchise in 1963. That’s only 56 years ago! We the fans digress.
We give you some credit, though. You have tried here and there. The outside of the box attempt with Matt Millen was cute. Seeking consultation from the league in hiring Bob Quinn made sense. It seems no matter what you try, you end up with egocentric management and coaches who sell you a great game up front and wind up running in their own hamster wheel toward the end of their stay in Detroit.
We the fans have seen former coaches and coordinators go to other teams and find success. Even former General Managers go elsewhere and are successful with other organizations (Martin Mayhew in San Francisco). Over the last 56 years there is only one constant that is a rather large elephant in the room (perhaps dressed as a Lion)…and it’s YOU.
While I write this on behalf of Detroit Lions fans everywhere, I am in fact one person. I am a very competitive person. I have learned in my 44 years on this planet that a competitive nature is either in you or it is not. Competitiveness is born at an early age and develops through the back and forth struggle between success and failure. I have had a fair amount of success in the world of bowling. I became good at bowling not because of some skill that I was born with. I became good at bowling because I wanted to. I worked relentlessly at an early age to get better. I would practice 20-25 games per day, and people who were there bowling also would often come over and offer pointers. But in the end it was my drive and my refusal to accept mediocrity that pushed me to become successful in my preferred sport.
Let’s now look at things in another direction…
I also run one of the largest competitive bowling organizations in the Nation. Being very observant, I have learned a lot about the industry over the years. Our industry has suffered through losing millions of competitors over the last 30+ years, and many bowling centers have gone out of business. As this has gone on, there have been many success stories still. The bowling centers that thrive during these tough times are owned usually by newer owners who have that competitive nature and refuse to a accept failure. Many of the centers that are closing are owned by very old, first generation owners that simply do not have the interest or energy to make it work anymore; or the centers have been handed down to 2nd or 3rd generation owners from the same family tree. Since they never had to do anything to build up such a business from nothing, they usually lack the drive and understanding of what it takes to fight for the life of the business.
Sadly, this is what we the fans see with our Detroit Lions. The franchise seems like a fun little side project of the Fords. The big difference between the Lions and a bowling center is the financial climate of the two industries. The Lions are part of a very profitable and thriving industry and league (The National Football League). As the Lions franchise continues to fill your pockets, there is no dire need to win anytime soon. We the fans don’t doubt that you want to win. Nobody wants to lose. But you and your family will eat just fine tomorrow. Your homes and other businesses will remain intact. There are no repercussions for the Fords if the Detroit Lions are lousy for another 62 (or 56) years.
I started writing this open letter to the Fords (from the fans) and decided to finish it off in the first person. I am one person writing this from a stance of passion, because I love football, and I am a Detroit Lions fan for life. It doesn’t mean I will set aside any time in 2020 to waste watching this awful product. I will watch the draft in April once again with hope that maybe the current regime can stop taking 7th round picks in the first two rounds to show the world how intelligent and amazing they are at their jobs (how has that worked out so far for Millen and now Quinn).
But in the end it doesn’t seem to matter who is calling the shots in Allen Park. The problem sits at the very top, and it’s a very large 4-letter F word that we are all very familiar with by now…FORD.
I used to get mad at my fellow Lions fans for screaming about the Fords and saying the team needs to be sold. That concept seemed to be ignorant, because who the heck sells multi-billion dollar profit makers? But I now come to the conclusion that at 44 years old, I will never see winning football here in Detroit as long as the Ford flag flies high above this franchise’s stadium.
And now the realization sits in that I just wasted an hour writing this open letter to a family who doesn’t give a flying Ford about me or any of the other fans like me.
In the spirit of the new year that is nearly upon us, I raise a glass and a middle finger and say “Cheers, and here is to another year or decade or 60ish years of abysmal football in the Motor City”.
Who the Ford cares at this point?
Well said, Brian!