For 60 plus years the Detroit Lions have been the model of ineptitude. Anything another franchise can do wrong, these Motor City cats can do worse. Some accept it as fate, but it’s more than that.
In the 1950s the Lions were the NFL’s powerhouse. They were what the Pittsburgh Steelers were to the 70s, the San Francisco 49ers to the 80s, or the Dallas Cowboys to the 90s. The Bobby Layne-led Lions of the 50s were very good, but generally speaking, they were at their best when the games meant the most.
Since then, well … the Lions haven’t done anything to clutch except steal defeat from the jaws of victory. More to the point, this is a franchise that has been mismanaged more than any other professional sports team in the history of the universe. That’s the cliff notes version.
Since Buddy Parker assembled the three-time champion Lions of the 50s, the lack of success this franchise has had has been historic in all the wrong ways. This is a team that has had some great football minds like Don Shula, Chuck Knox, Bill Belichick, and Kevin Colbert to name some of the brightest, but none were given the opportunity to shine here in Detroit.
All of them left for other opportunities to showcase what they could do. All were part of championship-caliber teams and they contributed tremendously to making those teams contenders. No franchise is able to keep all their best front office and coaches in the fold. But the great teams are able to identify their best football minds then put them in a position to build serious contenders.
Poor personnel decisions in the front office, at head coach, and in the draft have made the Lions the one single NFL team that no other city envies. However, the mismanagement doesn’t end there.