Well it happened. A season of horrific and historical proportions came to a merciful end with the Detroit Lions scoring zero wins against 16 losses. This was an NFL record that no other team will want to match. And the poor Lions can only hope that another team may join them one day in their misery.
The first thing Monday morning the Lions fired the coach and a few of his assistants. Somebody had to fall on their sword and the coach was all to willing. The poor guy was so over-matched and as bad as the team and the players were, I have to think smart coaching can get you a win or two per season.
Unfortunately, the architects of the disaster (or even worse the lackeyz of the architect) were given promotions and put in charge. Their names are Martin Mayhew (the new GM) and Tom Lewand (the new President.)
You can imagine the fan's ire that the owner (the octogenarian recluse William Clay Ford) would keep these guys around. Let's blow the whole thing up and start over, screamed the masses when given their time on sports radio. Myself, divorced from my emotions, am okay with this move and only request they honestly give the very rational reasons for keeping them around and seeing what they can do.
Because the Lions have and will pay A LOT of money to guys who delivered some of the most horrible results in the history of pro sports. They just got done paying Steve Marrauichi $6 million dollars for not coaching their team in 2006 and 2007. Likewise, they will be paying Matt Millen $5 million in 2009 and 2010 to not be the GM. Crazy money. So why not give these low risk, low pay guys left standing a chance to see what they can do.
Also, there is the matter of the new CBA the owners have to negotiate with their players and the real likelihood that the 2010 season will suffer a lockout by the owners. It seems smart not to promise a lot of money to guy you'll need to pay even if the team doesn't play.
In their introductory press conference, the M & L boys did mention Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as blueprints, which I hope they don't really feel is the Lions blueprint. Because if you are a dome team you need to look at the dome teams that have won Super Bowls and there are only two: Indianapolis and St. Louis. Both of those teams had a high-powered offense. So for all the talk of building a big tough defense (which you will need) you need to have offense.
Now if Bill Parcells becomes available you got to take that. He is the only guy that you are pretty much guaranteed a winning team two or three years after the introductory press conference.