Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
The team cancer has been sent into remission. Some may say though, that this is just a partial remission. The cancer could still exist somewhere else within the organization and may return (Ford? Marinelli? Kitna? The Mascot? Who Knows?), but the the greater part of it that has caused such great pain for the past 7 years has been cured.
I don't expect you to fully understand what I'm talking about (hell, I don't even know), so I will stop there with the medical lingo. Simply put, Matt Millen, the GM of the beloved Detroit Lions for the past 7 years, is gone. At this point in time, it is unclear whether he was fired, or whether he resigned, but why should Lions fans care? He is gone. Lyrics taken out of context from a song by Montgomery Gentry can put it so clearly and beautifully. Millen is, "Gone like a freight-train, gone like yesterday, gone like a soldier in the civil war, bang bang." He's gone and never coming back. Only difference between Millen and the subject of that song is we're ecstatically happy he is finally gone.
Personally, I never got too caught up in the entire "Fire Millen" campaigns. Sadly, I believed in SOME of the players he brought in and they just didn't pan out (Kevin Jones, Charles Rogers, Kalimba Edwards to name a few). I believe in giving people a chance and Millen certainly received his more than fair chance.
I also believe in a little something called trial and error, though. You have to learn your lesson! Millen was like a fat guy eating ding dongs on a treadmill or like a retarded caged animal undergoing operant conditioning. He didn't know anything about product. He never understood that selecting good players in the NFL Draft would help produce a good football team. He kept with the same old stupid behavior that wouldn't get him the results needed. During the process, he lost out on other players that could have helped out, all while he was making arguably, every wrong move possible.
Some General Managers are just inherently good, though. No matter who they pick, sign, or hire, whether it was the right choice at the time or not, it will wind up being the right choice. Matt Millen, as 'hard' as he tried, was never right in terms of putting together a winning team. In fact, he was about as far away from winning as we were from having a woman president 100 years ago (still counting). In six years and three weeks with the Lions, Detroit has posted a 31-84 record with him as the GM. Then again, how can you win when your four best players are a pair of wide receivers, a kicker and a punter?
To Millen's credit, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, he tried. Oh boy, did he try. He drafted an Oregon Duck quarterback that he genuinely thought Detroit would fall in love with like he did. Unfortunately, Harrington turned out to be the exact opposite of the epitome Detroit fan-favorite: soft, coward, and sucked.
Then Millen decided to draft wide receiver after wide receiver because he probably thought it would help get a pair of wide receivers back in Detroit that resembled the record setting pair of Herman Moore and Brett Perriman. It only took him about 6 tries to land the duo. How noble of you Mr. Millen. Just what we've always wanted. It's too bad Scott Mitchell can't throw to Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson.....(don't even get me started on Mitchell)
Now, I should be fair to Mr. Millen. He never decided to go for 2 points in Arizona when we were down 1 or to defer in an overtime game to take the wind. Nor did he personally pledge to be a 'running' football team and then only have 277 yards on 50+ carries to show for it after THREE weeks.
But let's be serious here. You have a General Manager whose sole job is to bring people in to make the team better. For six plus years, he has been consistently putting not only losing teams on the field, but the absolute worst teams.
You can point the finger at Jon Kitna, Rod Marinelli, and the defense all you want, but it doesn't start there. The root of the problem is with the guy who is bringing in the personnel. If the Lions were a cancer patient, after six years with Malignant Matt Millenoma, they'd be dead. Luckily, it's just an analogy.
The Lions can right the ship and today, I think they made the greatest move Millen never made. Matt Millen is gone. Only 3 questions now are left unanswered: 1) Where's the party at? 2) What is next for the Lions and 3) What in the world will become of FireMillen.com?