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The photo that could change the Detroit Lions’ future

How a simple picture could alter the Lions’ entire timeline

Shelia Ford Hamp appears to be upset during the Lions 41-25 Thanksgiving day loss to the Houston Texans
Mike Mulholland of Mlive

Photographs are a part of the game. They’re a part of what we do as media members. We often take them for granted or we simply don’t take the time to marvel at them or gauge their worth. Sometimes a picture comes along and changes everything. Amazing moments like Muhammad Ali knocking out Sony Liston or Neil Armstrong standing on the moon are captured in time and remembered forever. Thanksgiving Day may have presented the Lions with a similar transformative moment in the franchise’s history.

Granted, this picture is not going down in the Hall of Fame. It’s a great shot by MLive’s Mike Mulholland, who is—in my opinion—one of the best in the business, but this one isn’t going to be hung in the Smithsonian any time soon.

Still, there’s an importance to this picture that I believe shouldn’t be understated. This photo could be the photo that changes the Lions’ timeline and puts them on a new course. This picture could very well be the catalyst that gets Matt Patricia fired as early as Black Friday.

You’re probably asking yourself a few questions, right? The first one is probably something like, “Well Mike, isn’t Matt Patricia’s coaching the catalyst that gets him fired?” Of course it is. At this point we all know where this is going. The Lions are not quite mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, but let's be real. This season is over and it’s been over since Week 1. Both Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn will more than likely be fired. Pending, of course, some freak occurrence that thrusts the Lions into the playoffs.

The question has never been about if, it’s always been about when. The one thing we all know, or think we know, about the Ford family is that they have a tendency to let things play out completely before they make a move. While that’s not always true, the consensus on social media seems to be that the Lions are going to wait until the season is completely over to make their move at head coach.

This brings us to question number two. How is this photograph going to be the catalyst that gets Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn fired early? Well, it’s just plain old human nature, my friends. This is embarrassing. We’ve watched this team for years, and the Ford family has always been guarded, lurking in the shadows. You barely every hear from them or see them unless they’re seen talking with personnel on the field or one of their rare press conferences. You never ever see them show emotion until now.

This picture shows that the Ford family is just as fed up as you and I are. This picture was taken in the fourth quarter during the Lions’ drive that led to the Mohamed Sanu touchdown. It was snapped right after T.J. Hockenson dropped a pass on third-and-4. These notes are important because some may says the picture is taken out of context.

Now let’s get to the embarrassing part. Regardless of what happened in the game, this picture is the story. It’s absolutely everywhere right now. Most Lions writers shared the picture, and Lions fans have definitely shared it all over social media. As I write this at 11 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving night, our article about the picture is the most read article on the entire SB Nation platform.

There is absolutely no hiding this. Lions fans now know that at the very least, there’s some frustration coming from the owner’s box. While there was already pressure to make a move at some point this season, the pressure is now on harder than it’s ever been. The Lions are a laughing stock. That picture only makes the laughter louder.

That is why it is my prediction that the Lions announce the termination of both Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn as early as Black Friday. We shall soon see if that prediction comes true.

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