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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    Angry Lions fans march for Millen's firing
    By TOM KRISHER
    Associated Press Writer
    Dec 18, 9:15 PM EST

    DETROIT (AP) -- During Chad Sweet's 33 years, the Detroit Lions have rarely given him anything to cheer about.

    So on Sunday, he drove more than 60 miles from his home in Tecumseh to a downtown bar to join a pregame march demanding that the Lions fire president Matt Millen.

    Like hundreds of others, he dressed in orange like fans of the Cincinnati Bengals, who beat Detroit 41-17 in the Lions' final home game of the season.

    And like the rest of the crowd, the bar and the rally became an outlet for watching years of lousy football.

    "All of my life we haven't had a whole lot to root for," Sweet said. "We never really get over the hump. A lot of it seems to be ownership related or management related."

    The march, sponsored by a local sports talk radio station, drew about 500 people at its start, but the crowd grew to about 1,000 as the fans walked the five blocks to Ford Field.

    Along the way, they chanted "Fire Millen" and "Ho-ho-ho, Millen must go." Many wore "Fire Millen" T-shirts and orange hunting gear. They carried signs that said "Commitment to Ineptness," and "Fed Up." One wore a hat reading, "Blame Ford First," a twist on one of the automaker's slogans.

    Many urged the Ford family to sell the team, but few thought the march would have an impact.

    "I don't think this is going to change anything, not the way the Fords are," said Rich Lebert, 24, who carried a Millen doll hanging in effigy from a stick. "But we have to do something so that they know we care."

    Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand said before the game he wouldn't comment on the march. "I didn't see it, and it wasn't part of our gameday operations," he said.

    Steven Beaton, 32, said he couldn't understand how Detroit's basketball and hockey teams can be so good, yet baseball and football languish near the cellar.

    "We've got two good teams here and the other two are horrible," he said. "That's got to change."

    The 19-3 Pistons have the NBA's best record this season, and the Red Wings are among the top teams in the NHL at 22-9-3. The Lions have the league's worst record during the past five seasons at 20-58. The Detroit Tigers finished 71-91 this year.

    Beaton said the Lions have had a great fan base for the past five years, but he cautioned, "I don't know how long it's going to last."

    At the previous home game, fans displayed "Fire Millen" signs and chanted for his dismissal. The scene turned into a circus of sorts when one fan ran from section to section, dodging security, with a "Fire Millen" sign, before he was tackled as he ran up steps toward the exits.

    The anti-Millen signs and chants have surfaced at home and away games of the other Detroit sports teams, as well as at University of Michigan and Michigan State basketball games.

    On Friday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace joined fans in the chant during a late timeout against the Chicago Bulls. Even when the Pistons played in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday night, a fan in the upper deck held a "Fire Millen" sign.

    Lions owner William Clay Ford gave Millen a five-year contract extension last offseason after four miserable seasons. Ford allowed the former linebacker to fire coach Steve Mariucci after two-plus seasons. Mariucci was fired just after Thanksgiving.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What do you guys think? Is this the kind of action needed to force front office changes in an NFL organization, or will it not cause anything at all? What would happen if Rams fans took up the same tactics against some of those in our front office?

    I'm not suggesting one thing or another, but I'd like to hear what Rams fans think, considering our own disappointments in the FO.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
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  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    If I ever reach a point where I have nothing better to do with my time than to put on 12 layers of clothing, go outside in frigid Winter weather, and march down the street to try to get a general manager of a football team fired, please shoot me.

  3. #3
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    The sad reality is that fans really can't do much at all. The best course of action for a disgusted fan is to stop showing up to the games and stop spending money on team merchandise...but really, when you compare the money generated from that to the money teams make from the NFL television contracts, I really don't think it amounts to much. Still, I would think that a totally empty stadium would be a pretty loud message that even the most obtuse owner would find hard to ignore.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  4. #4
    talkstoangels61's Avatar
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    Bang!!!!!!!!...............LOL

  5. #5
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude
    The sad reality is that fans really can't do much at all. The best course of action for a disgusted fan is to stop showing up to the games and stop spending money on team merchandise...but really, when you compare the money generated from that to the money teams make from the NFL television contracts, I really don't think it amounts to much. Still, I would think that a totally empty stadium would be a pretty loud message that even the most obtuse owner would find hard to ignore.




    You take season ticket sales and concessions away along with the parking and every thing else that goes on on Sunday and trust me it will hurt something aweful!..........Think about it the average fan spends 80.00 a game! multiply that by 10 games a year.......Let's see here that would be $52,000,000.00 give or take a few!...............Now what would you say to that?
    Last edited by talkstoangels61; -12-23-2005 at 01:13 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    Protesting beats waiting for these guys (in our Front-office) to fall flat on their faces.

    Why should the fans have to endure 3 years of losing when it's apparent these guys are bad businessmen and football expert wannabes.

    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    IN their case, they have the right to be that mad. Matt Millen is an idiot and has no business keeping his job. I dunno about the whole wearing orange thing though.

  8. #8
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    Instead of looking like a bunch of idiots doing the tree-hugging hippie protests, they could be doing positive things to make their voices heard.
    The best course of action for a disgusted fan is to stop showing up to the games and stop spending money on team merchandise
    Probably the most noticeable idea, but it might backfire. If attendance goes down, an owner might just say "screw you guys, I'm moving the team". In the short term, it would get their attention, though.
    Another method would be a blizzard of letters. Organize a campaign to put opinions on paper to be mailed en masse to the FO. The majority would be delivered on the same day. Remember "Miracle on 34th Street"? If a parade of postal workers were to carry in mailbags full of letters on the same day, they would have to notice. And, someone would be wondering if one of those postal workers was disgruntled...
    There is also the media. Not really an effective idea unless a continuous stream of information was coming.
    The last idea I have is only a thought because I am not sure if the Fords affiliated with the Lions are the same Fords in charge of the automaker. (I know they are related, but is it the same people?) If it is the same people, boycott Ford Motor Co. After a few million in lost car sales, it might make enough noise to get their attention.
    As far as St. Louis is concerned, the situation is much different. The letter writing campaign might work to a limited degree, and the media blitz would also have a limited effect. A one-day boycott of the EJD would also be noticed, but as fickle as the Rams FO seems, I'd not push it too far, otherwise we might end up losing our team to another city.

  9. #9
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    Yes, they do.

    There was an NFL team in the 1970's that had, at the time, the worst seasonal performance of any team, save the Eagles over the last 15 years.

    The fans, characterized as having been loyal, went to the stadium and burned their tickets outside, rather than going to the game. They ginned up the powerful local media. They even suggested that the local network affiliate carry a better game than the local team versus the then crappy K.C. Chiefs. The station complied.

    It was then, and only then, that Wellington Mara cleaned house in the Giants front office, ditched Robustelli and Ray Perkins, hired George Young as GM and future-streetwalker Bill Parcells as head coach. The New York Football Giants went on to great success over the next years, success they would have never seen had they stuck with the front office they had since the mid-60's (installed AFTER the great champion team led by Y.A. Tittle in '64).

    Yes, if even Wellington Mara could be moved by burned tickets and "I'll Cry To-Mara" towels, Leon Hess (was moved by similar behaviour at the Jets before he died unexpectedly at 91), then even the Detroit ownership could be moved.

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    Of course the Detroit fans have the right idea. They realize that Bill Ford is not a committed football man. They realize that having a PS DT manage your team is ludicrous. And they're tired of severe losing seasons under that tackle's direction. So, they're speaking up. Back in the Wayne Fontes day they finished 500 usually. Now the fan's would give a paycheck to finish that high.

    As long as Ford runs that team, they will swim in the pool of mediocrity.

    And yes, Rams fans should speak up and let their voices be heard. I'd like to see that Suliman guy get canned for his vulgar remark. It was both offensive and perverse to hear a guy with a Muslim sounding name make a comment about sliting throats.

  11. #11
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    Re: Do the Detroit fans have the right idea?

    "In treating an ideological or a political malady, one must never be rough and rash but must adopt the approach of 'curing the sickness to save the patient', which is the only correct and effective method."


    - Mao Tse Tung "Rectify the Party's Style of Work" (February 1, 1942), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 50.

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