The Detroit Lions have struggled in 2020 and fans are exasperated every single week with the play of the team. Most folks don’t know whether or not ownership ever feels the same way, but a glimpse into that may have been caught amid a horrible Thanksgiving Day defeat.
With the Lions losing big to the Houston Texans in the second half, photographer Mike Mullholland from MLive.com panned his lens toward the owners box and caught Sheila Ford Hamp in a rare moment of frustration or self expression. Ford Hamp appeared to be face palming as the Lions were in the process of getting drilled.
Here’s a look:
WE GO LIVE TO THE OWNER’S BOX! pic.twitter.com/RxNxJuoeW5
— Mike Mulholland (@mulho2mj) November 26, 2020
It’s not often folks get such a candid look at Detroit’s owner, nor is it often they see the owner sharing their same emotions, but for a rare moment, that’s just what played out. If Ford really is that disappointed in her product, she will prove it by committing to some huge changes moving forward.
Still, the reaction was likely not unlike the one seen in plenty of Michigan living rooms on Thursday afternoon.
Sheila Ford Demanded Playoffs
When Matt Patricia stuck around late last year, the word was ownership wanted to see a major run out of Detroit in 2020 in terms of relevant football down the stretch. So far, the opposite has played out with the Lions trending backward and looking like one of the worst teams in football. This season, there isn’t an injury excuse or anything else to prevent the team from having a better year. Quite simply, it’s been bad coaching and roster construction which has prevented the Lions from putting things together.
With the Lions out of the playoff picture, it will be interesting to see if this is the final straw.
Martha Ford’s Ownership of Lions
Ever since her husband William Clay Ford passed away in 2014, Ford, 95, was the primary owner of the Lions. The team has been in the family since 1963, and most fans would admit that through the years, there hasn’t been a ton of good that has played out while the Fords have been primary owners. The Lions have just one playoff win in that span, and famously haven’t won a division title since 1994. Misery has been the most common emotion associated with the Lions during the family’s tenure as owners.
Since taking over from her husband, however, the elder Ford did show more of a propensity to shake things up rather let things sit and get stale. She hired Quinn from outside the organization a few years back. She also allowed the team to be aggressive in their pursuit of Matt Patricia. She’s allowed the team to spend to lure free agents to town and keep their own stars. Mr. Ford was more inclined to sit back and let his trusted associates run the show however they saw fit for however long. Ford maintains her drive is strong to be able to win, and her ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl. At her advancing age, that might be difficult unless the Lions get things right in a major hurry.
This past offseason, Ford effectively passed the torch to her daughter, who is now theoretically calling the shots as it relates to the big franchise decisions.
The team appears to be facing the need for another reset, and if the candid image of Ford’s daughter is any example, she seems completely fed up.