The Story of the Matt Millen Era

Fans hate Millen

He finally did it. Didn’t think he had it in him, did ya?

You were wrong. After his team began its annual meltdown early this year, William Clay Ford, owner of the 0-3 Detroit Lions, anticipated the inevitable rage of the hometown fan base and made the move that virtually all of Michigan had been calling for since the burst of the dot-com bubble. Ford fired Matt Millen. Millen’s final record as Lions GM and President was 31-83.

This time, the Detroit Lions were finally a step ahead. It’s the first time they’ve been in such position since the Barry Sanders era. And, not coincidentally, it was the end of that era that created the first pothole for this last era.

When Millen was hired in 2001, one of his first moves was trying to coax Sanders out of retirement. Turns out, this was actually the first sign of a problem. It was like the bed wetting that precedes the animal torture by eight years and the serial killing by 20. Hired to move the franchise forward and into the future, Millen began by desperately looking back and into the past. It didn’t work out – the Sanders move or the eight years that followed it.

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