Ron Utah

September 26th, 2018 at 5:31 PM ^

That's quite a claim, and one that I've read in many places.  But where is the evidence that they want to win?  What are they doing to enable the success of the franchise?

Wanting to win and being hands off is how we got Matt Millen.  What we need is competent leadership with proven experience and success.

But hey, we beat the Patriots. *waves tiny flag*


September 26th, 2018 at 6:44 PM ^

Every coach and player always says they are treated great and the Fords are never cheap with giving them anything they need for success. They have had a habit of picking bad gm's but it's not because they are not willing to spend the money which is all you can really ask from ownership. 

Yost Ghost

September 27th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

No NFL franchise is as snake-bitten as the Lions, well maybe the Browns. I used to be a Lions fan. I moved to Seattle in 1993 and became a Seahawks fan. After 21 years of frustration with the Lions it was an easy choice. Crazy decision at the time since that was back when the team was still owned by Behring, they just went 2-14 and they were drafting players like Rick Mirer, but I knew that the problem with the Lions was ownership and hoped the Seahawks would be different.

The Seahawks didn't start contending until Paul Allen bought the team in 1996. Once Allen was making the decisions he targeted the Packers. He went after Holmgren who traded for backup Packers QB Hasselbeck. Later on Allen he went after Packers' Director of Operations John Schneider who traded for another Packers backup QB Matt Flynn. There's been a lot of Packers pilfering.

Since Allen bought the team 22 years ago the Seahawks have 9 division championships, 3 NFC championships and a Superbowl victory. The 20 years prior to Allen's ownership the franchise had 1 division championship.

The Lions aren't going to have real success until they have an owner who aggressively pursues winning by pilfering another franchise's brain trust or creating their own, whatever the cost.


September 26th, 2018 at 7:52 PM ^

The Ford family has been cheap with the Lions.  Russ Thomas and Chuck Schmidt were terrible, cheap GMs.  They are the worst owners in professional football.  If not for the Packers being complete idiots and drafting Mandarich, the Lions would still have zero playoff wins in the Super Bowl era.

They are so cheap that they hired family friends to run the franchise.  Tom Lewand should have been nowhere near player development & personnel decisions.  This will not be a Super Bowl contending team until the Ford family sells the franchise, which will never happen unless Martha is caught on tape using every ethnic slur in the book. 

Uncle Soaky

September 27th, 2018 at 8:17 AM ^

No doubt William Clay Ford was the worst owner in the NFL, but Martha has made more positive moves than negative since she took over the team and wasn't the owner when Russ Thomas, Chuck Schmidt, or Matt Millen were in the front office. That being said, when Martha is no longer with us and her kids take over it's entirely possible they could be as shitty at owning the team as their father. 


September 26th, 2018 at 2:57 PM ^

He's a Sparty who's mostly famous for owning Ohio-based sports teams. I also didn't know the Ilitches were looking to sell. I guess it would beat the Fords owning them..

Bando Calrissian

September 26th, 2018 at 2:58 PM ^

Dan Gilbert is basically Mike Ilitch, Jr. when it comes to Detroit, from business to property/development to, apparently, sports. How long before there's endless consternation about how he's allocating his financial resources to the Cavs instead the Tigers, like Ilitch did with the Wings over the Tigers?


September 26th, 2018 at 3:09 PM ^

FWIW Bando there are similar rumors here in Cleveland that Gilbert wants to sell the Cavs & Quicken Loans arena.  He recently sold off a LOT of downtown property which did nothing but fuel those rumors with the alleged end game being him buying the Lions, not the Tigers.

Look - he is a micro-managing ahole of a boss (allegedly) who is increadiby hard to work for.  He doesnt value General Managers for shit (not one Cav GM has had his contract extended) and there are a ton of rumors about Cavs Dan that imply he might enjoy the night-life a bit too much.

That being said the SOB will spend any amount to bring home a championship.  Shit, the Cavs paid more in luxury tax last year than most team's payroll so he's definitely a positive in my book if you get him.  Especially in baseball where there is no salary cap and you can spend as much as you want to bring home a winner.   He definitely will do that.


September 26th, 2018 at 4:09 PM ^

Have to disagree with you here, Bando. While Gilbert himself is not free from scrutiny, he has been the catalyst for the city’s turnaround. His redevelopment projects such as the David Stott Building, the Book Tower, and Old Free Press Building (not to mention his other projects both large and small) are a testament to this. These properties have been vacant and blighted for 20-30 years and pose significant risk as an investor, even with the tax breaks he’s been given. It’s refreshing to see someone take on such behemoth projects and help the CBD return to its former glory. As opposed to the Illitch family, who have consistently overpromised and under-delivered. They’ve sat on blighted properties for years waiting for the “right time”, only to bulldoze them to create surface parking lots for their stadiums. And their ground-up developments have been underwhelming as well. Remember when the roof of the LCA was supposed to be an impressive, LED-lit being the first of its kind? After they went way over budget, the idea was scrapped for a stupid pizza mascot. 

I personally think Gilbert owning one of the major sports teams downtown would be a good thing. And I think his approach would be similar to that of his investments in the city that he loves.  


September 26th, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

I'm going to give Kevyn Orr and Mike Duggan and the Kresge Foundation more credit for Detroit's revitalization before I give an inch of credit to Gilbert. 

The former actually care about areas other than the CBD. Gilbert's just a savvy investor trying to make a buck. No upstanding citizen would put - let alone expand - a goddamn casino in the middle of downtown.

Bando Calrissian

September 26th, 2018 at 7:32 PM ^

And grassroots organizations like Preservation Detroit who have been trying to get people like Gilbert to pay attention to the possibilities of property investment and adaptive reuse in the CBD. All Gilbert has done is buy up buildings from the flurry of outside investors (many of them overseas) who tried to cash in on Detroit without total interest in, or resources for redevelopment. Ilitch Holdings did the same thing in the 80s and 90s. (After all, it wasn't Ilitch, but Chuck Forbes who did about 95% of the renovations on the Fox before Ilitch bought it).

In short, Gilbert is a significant investor, but he isn't a saint. Also see: Ilitch, Mike.


September 27th, 2018 at 10:36 AM ^

Well, Gilbert has actually rehabbed and put his buildings into productive use - like the David Stott Building, the First National Building, the former NBD HQ on Woodward, the Free Press Building, and the Book Building and Tower.  Illitch has rehabbed only one building of any significance in downtown, the Fox Theatre in the late 80s.  He tore down the Madison Lenox in violation of a City Order and it has been surface parking for the last 30 years.  The United Artist Building, the American Hotel, and numerous other buildings in 'District Detroit' sit vacant, unused, and deteriorating as they have for years under Olympia ownership - despite Illitch promises for reuse.  Meanwhile, surface parking and parking structures go up around LCA unabated.  It is apparent that Olympia Development has no intention of doing anything with the structures it owns other than let them crumble and convert them to surface parking.   


September 26th, 2018 at 2:59 PM ^

He owns half the city already, why not?

In all seriousness, don’t really know how to feel. Rumors were always that Chris Ilitch didn’t want the team once dad passed on, so I’d like someone with a drive to make the Tigers competitive to own the team.

However, I might feel a little odd that the owner also owned a team in another sport in the city of a division rival. Probably doesn’t mean anything, especially since I’d guess Detroit means more to Gilbert than Cleveland.


September 26th, 2018 at 3:06 PM ^

No thanks to Gilbert. He's an incompetent owner and a meddler. If it weren't for LBJ, the Cavs would be a laughing stock of the league.

Rather have someone else who can spend money and stay the hell out of the way unless the GM is incompetent

Hold This L

September 26th, 2018 at 3:07 PM ^

I would like to see the illitch family sell both the red wings and tigers. Chris does not give two shits about the product just the dollar signs, which is understandable but not the approach to running a successful sports franchise. Penny pinching will get them nowhere. 

Also I've heard he’s a micro manager which pisses people off.

CRISPed in the DIAG

September 26th, 2018 at 3:12 PM ^

Maybe I digress, but it makes me chuckle when I see the MSU mascot get front-center exposure in the Quicken Loans commercials. While watching football this past weekend, my 20 year old UNC daughter - born in Grand Rapids  - asked me if that what team the "green Trojan guy" was supposed to represent. The Disrespekt can't be overcome with national advertising, apparently.

Maize in Cincy

September 26th, 2018 at 3:14 PM ^

Not sure why anyone wouldn't want Gilbert as an owner.  He went WAY over the nba cap.  He will spend a ton of money. 

He's supposedly selling his Ohio casinos.  I could see him selling the Cavs too and just focusing on Detroit.


September 26th, 2018 at 3:18 PM ^

I have not been impressed with Gilbert in anything from his hires to his drafts. The comic sans memo pretty much says it all and the very fact that LeBron was not only the reason they won a title but were even competitive is pretty daming. 

The best owners seem to be the ones who make great hires and let their people do what they do. He doesn't seem like that kind of owner, and I am not sure he has the resources to spread over an NBA and an MLB team.

Boner Stabone

September 26th, 2018 at 3:26 PM ^

If he were to buy the team.  I would like to see him re-design and upgrade Comerica Park.  It would be cool if they could add a right field upper deck and bring back some of the Nostalgia of old Tiger Stadium.