Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Matt Millen: A Knucklehead For The Ages

Lions president Matt Millen makes the bed. The rest of us have to sleep in it. He says he will never quit as the Lions team president. That should not be necessary. Lions owner William Clay Ford should fire him. The record is a matter of record - 24-72 in six seasons. It makes Millen the worst general manager ever in professional team sports. But beyond the obvious, is the arrogance Millen carries with him about that record. He laughs off all criticism. He has no use for fans whatsoever. He has a couple lap dogs in the media who would lick his boots if they were 0-96 the past six seasons because they either have a job that depends on the Lions approval, or they count on Millen, or his minions, to feed them information. It is embarrassing to those of us in the fourth estate. Ford - and Ford alone - enables Millen. Without him, he would not be able to stand alone. Not with that record. It has made him the laughingstock of the NFL. I am sick of hearing about the relationship of Millen and Ford. Or that head coach Rod Marinelli has a great working relationship with Millen. The Lions were 3-13 this season. They were two games worse than they were the year before. They showed no improvement at all. Anything that comes out of Allen Park should not be believed. It is all about deception. Trying to make garbage sound like gold. They do nothing for their fans. They do not care about you at all. You are there to be gouged. And they do not care about winning. Everything about the Lions is predicated on saving individual face. It is a bad organization in every facet, the business and operations ends included. Nothing is about winning. Rod Marinelli is a nice guy, so they present him as a pawn in the equation. Tell me how the Lions were so well coached? Good to see how loyal Marinelli is. Making Donnie Henderson a scapegoat by firing him, apparently to bring in his son-in-law, is a typical classless move. Welcome to the club, Rod. You fit in perfectly. But watch your back. It is just a matter of time until Millen makes it your fault and removes you spine the way he did to Steve Mariucci.

Random thoughts

- Does Boise State belong ahead of Michigan in the final polls? That is a tough question. If Michigan played Boise State at neutral site, I still think the Wolverines would win handily. Oklahoma was undermanned this season and probably overachieved this season because the Big 12 was down.

- If Bears coach Lovie Smith were wise, he would skip the formalities and start Brian Griese at quarterback during the playoffs. Rex Grossman is awful.

- The place of Steve Yzerman in Red Wings lore is unquestioned. What is often overlooked in all the discussion about his ability as a leader, however, was his skill as a player. Before his balky knee and age caught up to Yzerman, he was probably one of the Top 20 players ever, in terms of skill, to play the game.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yzerman - In my humble openion he was better than Gretsky. He played hard both ends of the rink and took his lumps. A complete player and changed me into a Red Wing fan. He had many great games in Toronto. They loved him there. Vinny

10:02 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

ugh what a way to start the New Year off. Just reading Millen's comments should be enough to explain to fans how much he and FOrd care. Ford is passionate, him and Millen see the same things. HAHA. That explains everything. Doesn't it? I don't think it really matters if the lions got the first or second pick. THey suck and they will suck next year. "Mr. Ford and I, we talk a bunch," Millen said Tuesday. "We were talking all season long. ... It never even got to anything other than just keep on doing what we're doing." Keep doing what we are doing and what is that Millen losing. IF so go right a head. I won't be there to support you.

I do like some small peices in place. Roy WIlliams, FUrrey. Heck I even like Mike WIlliams up the middle and in the goal line. SO personally I think we don't have to focus on receiver this year. I still think bacus needs to move to the right side or guard and isn't our answer at L.T. I still think we need to get bigger at C. I think we need to give Dre Bly another guy to compliment him and guys that don't line up 20 yards off the ball. We need Safeties that don't commit so early and contain and actually tackle. I think we definately need an outside pass rush. I still think we need to find and groom our QB of the Future. We obviously need a Hard Nose Running Back. Say what you want about James stewart after he left, but when given a chance the guy averaged 4 to 5 yards a carry. We need stronger, quicker linebacers to go with Sims. Guys who have a nose for the ball.

So with that said what is there to evaluate Millen. What exactly do you and Ford see so promising. If you took your guys heads out of each others bong wholes you'd probably see what we do.

I do think with the right decision makers in place. The lions can really grab some great talent in the draft. The jets took Mangold and Ferguson in the first couple of picks last year. A huge difference when you draft talent at what you need. I think if we play our cards right we can really upgrade. I'd try and trade even if that meant parting with S. Rogers.


As far as Michigan goes. I hate to say it, but little ball state exploited are slow and weak secondary. They went over top like it was no tomorrow and we couldn't stop it. Ohio State came and did the exact same thing. So I was not surprised one bit by the outcome of the Rose Bowl. Michigan has 2 loses. I think it will be good for them to actually drop in the polls and come out next year as maybe ranked 8th or 9th. They seem to do better with something to prove with the exception of the bowl games. They simply were not ready to play. I think the biggest thing to look at is the lack of adjustments. To me this is why the nation has taken a wait and see approach on your boy Ron English.

I was at the Wings game last night. Awesome cereimony. Is there a more beloved guy in Detorit then Yzerman. You think Detroit or Detroit Sports the first name that comes up is Yzerman. I think it will for years to come. As I don't see a face for Detroit at the moment. Maybe Verlander can be that guy, Zumya is a fan favorite. But they still have aways to go.

11:45 AM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Pat,

One thing I like about you is that you don't pull punches, especially when it comes to the Lions. It's a horsecrap organization run by someone who is fiercely loyal to everyone except who he should be -- the fans. Staying with Matt Millen is beyond ridiculous, anyway you slice it. There is no hope for this franchise until Millen is gone and Ford Sr. dies or allows Bill Jr. to take over.

An aside: Why take a shot at your brethren in the media? What purpose does it serve? I'm not sure who you are reffering to, but I don't think any of the "beat" writers I've read or listened to could fairly be called lap dogs.

I think beat writers, more so than columnists, walk a fine line. There job is to report the news, not interject opinion. To do that, they need access to players, coaches and front office types. Does that mean they should only report the official company line? Of course not. But you also can't cut off your nose to spite your face. I think there is a way as a reporter of being tough but fair. Some reporters are better at that than others. It's also easy to be co-opted, I think, when you have been on a beat a long time and not even realize it. Generally speaking, I think guys like O'Hara and Kowalski do a good job of avoiding that.

12:46 PM 
Anonymous Hollis Keys in Detroit said...

Once again Book you have nailed it. The hypocrisy that flows from Allen Park in every press conference of the coach has no bounds. Wayne Huizenga the owner of the Dolphins said that it is all about winning and every owner hates losing. Not quite. Millen says that Ford told him to keep doing what you are doing? How can this be? To keep doing the same thing over and over if it isn't working is defined as lunacy. Saying that the concrete is hardening after a 3-13 season is arrogance to which no bounds have been established yet. The trip to Oakland on the day of the game in the preseason should have defined this coach to the extent that he printed his own ticket out of town then. The Mike Williams debacle and now the All in the Family atmosphere he seeks to establish all smell of personal favoritism and vendettas. The Dallas Cowboys didn't regret losing to a 2-13 team- that happens-the embarassment came from losing to "the worst franchise from the top to the bottom in the NFL" The scapegoating, gloating and nepotism of the last 2 days prove the point made in the Dallas Morning News on Monday. Coach Marinelli should get ready-under the Millen watch when co-ordinators get fired the head coach has an appointment with the gallows himself and it will be none too soon. Hopefully Millen when he gives the ziggy to his surprise discovers his name as being next.

9:10 PM 
Anonymous flog said...

It's Ground Hog year again for us Lion's fans. Even though it's inconceivable that Millen is still here, I am not surprised he survived the ziggy. William Clay Ford passionate about winning?? Really? The sad thing is once the draft and free agency period pass, and the spin doctors up in Allen Park sing the praises of their great draft choices/f.a. signings, we will be excited again... We are all saps I guess.

11:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Vinny,
Gretzky was great, too. That is a tough call, though. Tougher than most hockey fans in the U.S. and Canada believe. Yzerman didn't have the same type of talent surrounding him as Gretzky until after he hurt his knee.
Caputo

3:26 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
Millen's comments were truly disgusting. You talk about living in an unreal world. That team was in no way better than it has been in the past. Only Millen could ride the coattails of a 3-13 coach and get away with it because of Ford.
Caputo

3:28 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thinkingman,
I was on the that beat for five years, one of the four heads on Mount Rushmore, so to speak. I respect the other beat writers, but I do think at times they buy into the Lions party line too much and their reporting reflects it. Same with the broadcasters who cover the team regularly. Then again, they have their right to do their jobs anyway they want - and to their own opinions.
Caputo

3:33 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Hollis,
I thought one of the most telling moments about the Lions is just how genuinely embarrassed Bill Parcells was after his team lost to the Lions. Marinelli is part of the problem, too. He is not the great solution like some people are making him out to be. He was brutal this season. The only foundation he poured was a losing one. The 3-13 record says it all.
Caputo

3:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Flog,
The most laughable thing Millen said was about Ford's supposed fire for winning. If that wasn't more boot licking by Millen, I don't know what is. The only thing William Clay Ford is passionate about is letting the world know he will do what he pleases with his football team because he is the owner. Retaining Matt Millen is the classic example.
Caputo

3:39 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Millen is a knucklehead, how should we term the owner, who thinks Millen is the best he can get to head his organization, after season after season of failure. Probably, deaf, dumb, and blind. Let the season ticket buyers beware!, Dave

2:46 AM 
Anonymous sportznut said...

I find fault with plenty of Matt Millen's idiotic decisions, and scratch my head at how he still has a job many times.

How can a guy so inept still have a job?

Is there any other job or owner that you could do this at, and still be employed?

I highly doubt it, but I don't blame Millen for NOT quitting. We all know he's proud and stubborn.

If he quit, it would be a relief to us fans, but I can't blame a guy for not quitting.

Not onto better stuff.

The Yzerman ceremony was top notch. I absolutely loved it from beginning to end.

I can't help but think one thing though.

Couldn't Mr. Illitch buy Stevie a Caddy or a Hummer? The Tahoe seemed a little cheap for all the Captain has done for this city and a sputtering franchise before his arrival.

7:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Dave,
The owner is the biggest knucklehead of them all. He is the biggest reason the Lions have been so bad. Make that, by far the biggest reason. He'd rather be friends with Matt Millen than win.
Caputo

12:38 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Sportznut,
LOL on the Tahoe comment about Yzerman.
Caputo

12:39 AM 
Anonymous Tom Mohan said...

That Boise State game was classic. You spend a lot of hours watching pointless games in hopes of seeing something like that finish. It also puts the polls, the BCS and all the talk of a playoff in perspective. At this point I don't really care what number is assigned to what team, I just saw what I paid my cable bill to see... one amazing college football game.

11:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tom Mohan,
It was a classic game. Boise State was better at QB and RB than Oklahoma. I just think they needed to get over the idea they were the "little" school in that game. Obviously, Boise State did in the end - and it was classic stuff.
Caputo

12:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Book, I think the Lions will trun it around next season. Millen is nothing more than a lunch partner for Bill Ford. With Marinelli its all about winning with the players you have. They looked good last two weeks ( Chicago and Dallas) Sooner or later this team has to stop blaming Millen and the QB and look around the dressing room. Marinelli is the right coach at the right time. Joe mack

1:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Joe Mack,
I haven't seen anything from Marinelli to indicate he is any different, but he does have a lot of people who feel he is the right guy despite a rough year. Time will tell.
Caputo

11:01 PM 

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