An Open Letter to William Clay Ford Sr.
It has come to my attention that you are in the market for a new coach for your football team, The Detroit Lions. Well, search no more! I officially throw my hat into the ring. And I am confident that you will agree that I can help your team return to the grandness it once was.
Now, you may be thinking "But you have no prior experience!"
To that I say to you : Does it really matter?
In 2008 your Detroit Lions went 0 - 16 under a coach that had almost as much experience in coaching football as I've had years on this planet. His 10 years under Tony Dungy as Defensive Line Coach combined with his 23 years in the college circuit did nothing in terms of bringing success to the Detroit Lions.
As a matter of fact the coaching records of the Detroit Lions in recent years as been pretty darn abysmal. You have to go back to 2000 before you find a season where they went over .500 ... 1999 before we're in any kind of a playoff game ... and 1991 to find us in a Conference Championship game! As a Lions fan it's quite disheartening. I'm sure it is for an owner as well. I mean, we've only been in the playoffs a handful of time since you purchased the team in 1964. And I'm sure you're tired of hearing about our last blaze of glory back in 1957.
But I digress.
I'm not here to knock your choices for this team, or to beat anyone up for the horrid seasons we have suffered through.
No. I am here to share that I have a vision - a vision that includes winning. A vision that includes bringing pride back to the city of Detroit. And a vision that includes professional cheerleaders
I'm already working on assembling a coaching staff.
Taking a page from the Marinelli handbook, I am going to appoint my husband as our Defensive Coordinator. He already has quite a game plan to rebuild us, including concentrating some of our 2009 draft picks on building a bigger, faster and stronger Defensive Line either through drafting or trading up. We're looking at a line more congruent with the Baltimore Ravens, with leaders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. His top draft choice is currently Andre Smith, OT from Alabama. He is reminiscent of (to repeat myself) Ray Lewis and at 6'4" and 340 lbs he's a presence we need on that Defense. We need Quarterbacks to be afraid of us again, not looking forward to playing the Detroit Lions so they can rack up the best numbers in their careers.
I also have an Assistant Head Coach lined up. Let's call him Mr. X. Mr. X currently works in the local media field, so we should probably protect his identity for as long as possible. And since Mr. X already works in the local media, he can help re-establish a friendly rapport with local reporters, radio jockeys, and the like. He can help us heal the wounded relationship the Lions have suffered with the media these last few pathetic years.
Mr. X shall also be in charge of hand-picking the professional cheerleaders that will cheer on and inspire The Detroit Lions and their many fans. Trust me, I'm sure it will be a very tough job. It's also added incentive for him to do well in his media role, as if he doesn't, his cheerleading privileges could be suspended.
Mr. X currently wants to add a rider to his contract that he doesn't work Sundays. I've assured him that it should be fine as last season it didn't appear that many of the coaches showed up on Sundays either.
Of course, my staff isn't fully flushed out yet. I have a few more people in mind for the remaining positions. Those may or may not include additional family members and friends such as longtime friend Dino as Defensive Line Coach, my brother, Bob, as Offensive Coordinator, and my sister, Velisia, as Assistant Head Coach / Marketing Guru (yes - I want 2 Assistant Head Coaches.)
Marketing isn't something a head coach usually worries about, but with the debacle of the 2008 season I feel that it's something that should be addressed by coaching staff and players. It's vital to continue to make this franchise viable and worth spending the time and money to support and come see in person. This is why we also plan on working on the marketing aspect.
- Meet and Greets with fans the day of the game
- More charity appearances complete with authenticated signings
- Lotteries for the chance to be Roary for a game
- giveaways of mini-helmets, blue Lions #1 fan fingers, et al to the first 5,000 or so fans (much like the Tigers do)
and my personal favorite:
- Charity nights at local restaurants where the players (and select coaching staff of course) are the servers for the night and all their tips go to a selected charity.
Lest you think I'm all about flash, i have a plan for the offense as well.
First thing we need to do is get an efficient offensive line. As a fan and a Michigan native, I have a soft spot for Jeff Backus. he's a UofM boy for goodness sake! But he frankly isn't cutting it. No one on our offensive line is. Did you watch any of those New York Jets games this year? Favre had all day to throw that ball during his games. Of course he was still Favre and had almost as many interceptions as he had touchdowns this year, but that wasn't the fault of his Offensive Line. That's what we need, so that we don't have to worry so much about a mobile QB. We can instead concentrate on quality and accuracy for that position.
I don't have any plans to draft a QB in the next couple of years to start rebuilding again. Frankly it's not gonna be worth our time until we can get some other things under control. We need a new QB coach (Jim Harbaugh maybe?) who can work with the talent we have and also communicate better with our Offensive Coordinator in order to let him know what our QBs strong points and weaknesses are. We need to build an offense around what we have, instead of trying to force the talent we have into a box they aren't comfortable in, a box that obviously isn't working for us. Forcing a square peg into a round hole is what destroyed Joe Harrington (in my opinion) and we should never be allowed to do that again.
Instead, let's focus our Offense around the strengths of the starting QB we have and let's let Drew Stanton bloom in his own time on the sidelines. Then, when the time comes, he can become as effective as those we saw explode in 2008 (Matt Cassel and Aaron Rodgers come to mind)
And let's stop getting running backs who are at the ends of their careers. Tatum Bell? Rudy Johnson? Really? I think we have a potential powerhouse in Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson. Let's get a running back along the veins of Jerome Bettis to backup Smith and let's find someone to compliment Johnson better that Furrey or McDonald. I'm picturing a 1-2 punch like that of Moore and Morton back in the 90s.
In closing, one of the most important reasons why you should consider me in bringing back new life to your organization (aside from the plans for professional cheerleders of course) is that I won't ask for millions per year for me and my staff. Instead, set each of us up with a couple hundred thou a year and a new Ford vehicle and chances are we'll be happy. Bonuses for winning games would also be nice. And an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii for all of us on staff when we finally get back into the playoffs after so many years. Think of the money you'll save on us! And think of all the positive publicity when you hire a local woman - yes WOMAN! - to bring your Detroit Lions back to their glory days.
So, there you have it Mr. Ford. Take your time. Think it over. I'm sure you'll come to the right decision.
loyal Detroit Lions fan and potential future head coach in the NFL