I know right now, a lot of you are not happy campers regarding the current state of affairs, but I'd like to offer you an alternative point of view regarding where the team is currently at in the big picture of things.
William Clay Ford Sr. purchased the Lions on November 22, 1963. This year marks his 50th year of ownership. In that time, the Lions have exactly one playoff victory. As a matter of fact, if one were to deduct the Barry Sanders years of arguably one of the greatest players ever in the history of the game, Ford's tenure of ownership would be at 5 playoff appearances of a 40 years span with no playoff victories. Let's be fair here though, we can't reasonably deduct those years, so the record stands at 50 years of ownership with 10 playoff berths and 1 playoff win. Ford has signed off on every single head coach and general manager hired by the Lions, so mathematically we can expect a playoff birth 1 out of every 5 years on average, rather than the 1 out of 8 years minus Sanders.
There is a message here folks, and it's not a happy one, be thankful for what we have. If history is any indication, the Lions next choice will not be one for the better. At least we have now achieved a level of hope-inspiring, competitive mediocrity which we haven't seen since Bobby Ross graced us with his coaching over a decade ago. It may not be the halcyon days of Wayne Fontes, but it could be so much worse. Each and every time the Lions have rid themselves of a playoff coach, the following coach never showed themselves to be an improvement. Even Bobby Ross, succeeding Wayne Fontes, never achieved Fontes level of glory. In most instances, the succeeding coach failed to make the playoffs at all!
Hope IS on the horizon though, if the mathematics bear out, we can EXPECT a playoff birth by 2016, AND that birth COULD include a PLAYOFF WIN! :) Of Course, that could also be roughly the 2021 season too, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Let's face it folks, the ownership of the Lions is committed to making great automobiles, not a great football team. These aren't the Rooney's, or a passionate owner of any stripe, that's just the cold hard facts, and those facts are backed up by a reclusiveness in ownership that would put the Simpson's Mr. Burns to shame. Unlike many highly involved owners that are front and center in regards to their franchise, the Ford's take not just a hands-off approach, but an arm-lengths approach.
Has Schwartz directly caused us the loss of games, mismanaged the clock, and made game losing decisions? Sure he has. Has he shown any indication he has learned from those mistakes and actively works to make those decisions better? Nope. Has he shown ANY indication that he is working on the same problems that have plagued the Lions since he took control as a coach (penalties, drops, turnovers)? Absolutely not. What people fail to understand though, is it could be SO much worse!!! At least this team is entertaining to watch, and provides some lingering hope, and given the history of the franchise, I think we probably need to learn to be content with what we have.
Merry Christmas. :)