While the ownership is staying in the family, the announcement of Sheila Ford Hamp taking over as the primary owner of the Detroit Lions this week was certainly a big one. Ford Hamp takes the reins from her mother, Martha Firestone Ford, who has been at the helm over the last six years.
The elder oversaw some big changes for the team, including the dismissal of Martin Mayhew and Jim Caldwell and the introduction of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. Now it is the younger’s turn to try to bring the franchise into the next level. While owners are not responsible for everything, they do sit at the top and have the power to impact a lot of areas, for better or for worse.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What do you want to see from Sheila Ford Hamp?
My answer: It is unclear exactly how different things will look under Ford Hamp, especially at first. She has already been involved in many of the organization’s operations over the past couple years, and she said that she is not going to come in and make sweeping changes. Especially given the unique climate that we are experiencing right now, it is unlikely that she will do anything drastic in her first season in charge.
However, there are some tangible ways that she can earn fans’ trust. One is her pledge to be more available to the media. Transparency is extremely important, and becomes even more so with a fanbase this frustrated, so it would go a long way for her to open up a bit more than her mother. She also says she will be fairly involved with Rod Wood and the decisions being made within the organization. It is hard to imagine this not being a big step up from her mother, despite the latter’s presence in team operations.
For me, I think it comes down to having an owner with a clear vision and the ability to execute. Ford Hamp will likely have a big choice to make after the 2020 season regarding both Quinn and Patricia, and how she handles it and frames her decision will greatly impact how confident fans can feel under her leadership. Ownership alone is not what has held this franchise back, but having a positive asset up top could lead to some real progress.