Sheila Hamp. Not a “Ford First” mindset?

Sheila Hamp: The Right Owner at the right time for the Detroit Lions

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Sheila Hamp Going to Change Lions?

David: Do you think that Sheila Hamp is no longer within that kind of “Ford first” mindset that she’s actually about wanting to make the Detroit Lions into a perennial winning organization? What do you think? 

A.J.: We could take what we just said about Jared Goff and apply it to this right here. Firstly, I get the skepticism when it comes to the Fords. It would be the same thing as if, Mark Cuban said that if he owned one of our teams. Or if I was a Mavericks fan, it sounds good. 

And it’s a company’s answer in a lot of ways. What owner of a team is gonna be like, yeah, I don’t care if we win. Would somebody say that? I just show up for the paycheck. Which is basically what they’re saying. If they don’t say that they wanna win, then they’re just saying, I show up for the paycheck. 

So it sounds good. Let me see what you’re gonna do about that. So is it different than what we’ve heard? I don’t know, because I never really paid attention to what the Ford said because I always just felt like they were, I don’t even know how to describe it.

That they just were, right? They just were the owners of the Lions, that’s it. But I will say this, she seems like she’s more open-minded to attempting to win. As opposed to when the previous owner, not Martha Ford but the previous owner. Was it William Clay?

William Clay Ford. I think he was still around during the Matt Millen era. And I was at a bowl game like the motor city bowl or whatever game they played at Ford Field. It was like at the end of Millen’s tenure and there were fire Millen signs all over the place.

They literally removed fans from the stadium saying you can’t hold signs up like that. Because apparently, free speech didn’t exist inside of Ford field at that time. And so that attitude, like this is what we’re doing. Don’t question da da da. As opposed to what Sheila is, seemingly trying to do.

Does seem a little bit different. Look, she stood there during the Calvin Johnson thing and got booed, like crazy. After that, she laughed. Do you remember that? She laughed. She laughed it off and was like, she’s taking it in stride. Okay, so we’ve created this mess and distrust in ourselves. I think she’s got the right guys in there, like Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell, to try to turn the ship a little bit and she’s letting them do their job. 

David: I think when we’re talking about Sheila versus her mother, Martha, and versus her father, William. I think Sheila Hamp understands that the problem with the Lions has been stemmed back through her parents in that there’s this stigma of, we just don’t care.

We are just here to make money. And what Sheila is trying to do is listen, no, we want to win. We have seen how this city has been beaten up and taken its lumps over the last 20-something years. 0-16, Megatron retiring, Stafford leaving, all of the lumps that you could possibly take. And listen, we’re tired of that stigma.

We want to win. And that’s why I think all the stuff that’s happened this off-season, such as getting aggressive in the draft, going and getting Jameson Williams. Making sure that they could get the draft selection in 2024 for the city of Detroit being a part of Hard Knocks. They are trying desperately to be like, listen, this is a completely different type of Detroit Lions team and organization.

We’re about winning we’re about being successful. In my mind that also goes back to the symbolic gesture that Sheila did when she dropped the Ford name from the Ford title, from her name. And she went from being Sheila Ford Hamp to just Sheila being Sheila Hamp. Listen, I’m my own individual here.

I’m about winning and I’m about success. I wanna see the Lions be a successful team, which is why she’s got a guy like Dan Campbell, who falls from that Bill Parcells tree of no-nonsense. We are going to go out and we are going to win. Therefore, when I take a look at all the attitude, the mindset is different from the top.

And from the top, it goes down to the bottom of listen, we are here to win no more excuses. We are here to win. I like what I’m seeing. But as you said, wait, and see. 

A.J.: Yeah. And to your point, I think that those things that they are doing, getting the draft going on hard, like those are show me kind of things.

That’s good. Hopefully, at that point, you’re for the sake of every Lion’s fan that wears the Honolulu blue and has drunk the Kool-Aid more than they want to admit. Yeah, for their sake. I hope it’s different. 

David: When you’re talking about Hard Knocks and you’re talking about the draft, at that point you’re not just selling it to your own fan base. No, you’re selling it to the NFL. In other words, you have to sell yourself, your team, and your product to the NFL.

Moreover, the NFL is then, at that point investing in you. In conclusion, if the NFL is willing to say, we like what we’re seeing out of the Lions, we’re willing to put that investment in them. Therefore tells me that there is a definite shift in culture, a definite shift in attitude in Allen Park and in Detroit.

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Written by Amy Price

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