For the last months, Detroit Lions fans have been in a coma. Confidence in the direction of the team has sat at a stagnant seven percent for four straight weeks. As the Lions trotted out backup quarterback after backup quarterback only to be outdueled by some of the most mediocre quarterbacks in the league, Lions fans staunchly stayed gloomy.
Last week, things finally came to a head. The crowd at Ford Field resembled a crowd in the third quarter of the final preseason game. A select few of those that actually showed up wore “Sell the team” shirts in an effort to either actually enact change or get their 15 minutes of fame on TV.
And then on Tuesday, Lions ownership denied those people clamoring for change. General manager Bob Quinn: Retained. Head coach Matt Patricia: Staying for a third year. Martha Ford: Not selling. That being said, the rest of the coaching staff appears to be walking on the thinnest of ice.
And for the first time in a month, our FanPulse data moved. It wasn’t a huge movement, just a small tremble—a potential sign of life. Confidence in the direction of the team ticked up four percentage points to 11 this week.
In the interest of full transparency, it’s unclear if the Ford family’s decision to keep the current regime around had anything to do with this slight nudge in approval. The survey was sent out on Monday morning, and Martha Ford’s decision was revealed Tuesday afternoon. That being said, a survey reminder was sent on Tuesday morning to our FanPulse voters, and data was collected throughout the entire day.
There doesn’t seem to be any other logical explanation for the small bump. I suppose some may have been encouraged that the Lions worked their way back from a 21-point deficit against the Buccaneers. Or maybe some of the pessimistic fans simply decided to stop bothering to vote out of disinterest.
But if you look at our poll from earlier in the week, after nearly 1,800 votes, 57 percent of fans actually approved of the decision to retain Patricia and Quinn. Perhaps some are impressed with the tough decision that the Fords made and have gained a little faith in ownership.
Either way, it’s an interesting—albeit messy—data point in the year.
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