Let’s face it, the 2020 Detroit Lions are one giant pile of mediocrity. And that’s being generous. The franchise as a whole is one of the worst organizations not just in the NFL, but in the realm of professional sports.
This franchise became the first team to ever have a 0-16 season. This franchise has never made it to a Super Bowl. This franchise has one less NFC North division title than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This franchise has one playoff win in the Super Bowl era. This franchise drafted Eric Ebron ahead of Aaron Donald.
At the end of the 2017-18 season, Bob Quinn famously said 9-7 wasn’t good enough, and lamented the team’s inability to win games against good opponents. He hired Matt Patricia to put the team over the hump, and instead the team slid back down to the bottom. During his time as GM, Quinn has been barely able to form a roster that can compete for a chance to make the playoffs, let alone win playoff games.
As I mentioned before, since 1968 the Detroit Lions have only won one playoff game. That 1991 team beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 in the Pontiac Silverdome. The next week the Lions traveled to play the Washington Redskins, who beat them 41-10.
Now in 2020, close to 30 years since their last playoff win, enough is enough. Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will likely be fired after this season, and another re-build will begin in the Motor City. The status quo is no longer acceptable, and if this team is ever going to break from its miserable history, it’s going to take an outsider to do it. So here are my five outside-the-box hires to be the next GM of the Detroit Lions.
5. Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is a life-long Browns fan, so she knows what bad football looks like. The Browns leaked that they were considering her for a head-coaching interview after they fired Hue Jackson, but got bullied out of it by the internet.
The Lions should pick up where the Browns left off. Hell, I’d let Rice go full Bill Belichick and be the Head Coach and GM, hiring people who have been in NFL buildings has gotten the Lions nothing since 1957.
Rice served on the College Football Playoff Selection committee from 2013-2016, so she has inside sources that will lead to scoops on which players would be good to draft, and which ones would be busts. From this experience, Rice also has a good understanding of which college teams have good players. No longer will the front office waste valuable draft capital on linebackers from Hawaii.
The Lions will also be able to defend the hire by saying anyone who disagreed with it is an alt-right misogynist. Seems like a win to me.
4. Kwame Kilpatrick
Word on the street is that disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to be released from prison 17 years early. Just in time to bring him in for an interview with the Detroit Lions.
I believe in second chances, and if his time in public office is any indication, Kilpatrick will go to any and all lengths to make the Lions a competitive football team. Under Kilpatrick’s leadership, no player would be off-limits, no matter the background. If he was in charge of personnel, we’d looking at a starting receiver group of Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown. Kilpatrick would also be able to use his experience as a lawyer to negotiate for the release of Titus Young and bring him back into the fold.
And at running back, maybe he could even bring in Adrian Peterson! Oh wait…
3. Theo “Gridiron” Spight
Gridiron is Detroit through and through. A blue-collar auto-worker for Chrysler for over 20 years, Gridiron knows the pulse of the city, and what it takes to be a Detroiter.
More importantly, he will bring in guys who he believes have what it takes to be a Detroit Lion. Gridiron has seen every home game since 2004 from field level, which would make him a fantastic scout and talent evaluator.
Gridiron also sings “Gridiron Heroes” with the same passion and energy on a touchdown in the 4th quarter when the Lions are down by 30 points as he does after a Matthew Stafford game winning drive. This leadership ability will prove valuable when he is taking this team out of the dark ages into the dynasty it always could be.
2. Detroit Don and Superfan
These men spend every non-COVID fall Sunday in Section 140, Row 5, and I wouldn’t ask them to watch the game from anywhere else after they became co-GM’s of the Detroit Lions.
Detroit Don and Superfan may be buckled off of 8 pre-game bud heavies, and they may not know the X’s and O’s as well as the next guy, but they know the fundamentals. They know that in the National Football League, you have to win in your division. I know no other people that hate the Packers, Vikings, and Bears more than these two. Most importantly, they know that when it’s third down, and you’re on defense, you stand and fricking cheer.
If the team still sucked with these two as co-General Managers, at least I would know that the front office cared about the team, and that the losses stung them as much as they sting me.
Yeah I said it. I should be the next GM of the Detroit Lions. And frankly, it isn’t just because I know I could at least do better than Bob Quinn, it’s because I know I can hire the right team with me. As Drake said, it’s good to make it, better when your people make it with you.
I’m bringing in my Latrobe correspondent Leigh Murray as assistant GM, his keen eye for the QB position (see “Spin the Hog”) will bring a great signal-caller to the Motor City. I’m hiring Charles Brown as my Director of College Scouting, his time as a Michigan team manager will prove vital to bringing in the right guys to Allen Park. I will hire Tommy Murray as my west-coast area scout and send him to every Senior Bowl. I will hire John Dolan as my mid-west area scout as he will leverage his MSU and media contacts to give me the drop on all things Big 10. I will bring in J.P. Shady as my east-coast area scout covering all things ACC. His background as a jersey boy and former Giants fan will be vital to help us construct a Super Bowl roster as well as a pass-rush. Finally I will be bringing in Conor Ryan as my Independents/SEC scout and Director of Analytics. Ryan will employ the advanced “weights” analytics to NFL football, and no roster decision involving the trenches will be made without him and his rigorous math equation.
While I will not ask this of my hires, I will forgo any salary until the Lions win a playoff game under my direction. After that happens I expect to be paid handsomely.