loading...

Can ownership change finally get Detroit Lions to a Super Bowl? Surely not in 2020

There has been a change in power with the Detroit Lions.
Hero Image

There are four active NFL franchises to never play in a Super Bowl: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and, the only NFC club, the Detroit Lions. Their last appearance in an NFL championship game of any sort was in 1957, the league's longest drought. Perhaps Tuesday's change of ownership is exactly what that franchise needed. The team announced that Martha Firestone Ford, who has led the Lions since 2014, has decided to step aside from her principal leadership role and that her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp, will take over as the Lions' principal owner and chairman.

"My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago," Ford Hamp said in a statement. "She has been a tireless leader to our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward. On behalf of the family and the team, I want to thank her for her countless contributions. I look forward to leading the Lions to excellence on and off the field."

Ford Hamp, born in 1951, is the second of four children to Martha and the late William Clay Ford. Hamp was a vice chairperson since 2014 and became Martha Firestone Ford's right-hand woman in recent years. Firestone Ford had taken controlling interest in the team after William Clay Ford's death in March 2014.

Ford Hamp played a role in the decision following last season to retain embattled head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. Most new owners tend to want to hire their own guys in those roles.

"(Changing coaches) would have been the popular choice, the popular decision, and we knew that," Ford Hamp said at the time. "We're doing what is right for the organization."

Both Patricia and Quinn are on thin ice with the Lions going a combined 9-22-1 the past two seasons. Detroit hasn't won a division title since 1993 or a playoff game since following the 1991 season. The team is given an Over-Under win total of 6.5 at William Hill sportsbook for 2020 (Over -145 favorite) and is +300 to make the playoffs and -400 to miss again. Detroit is a slight home favorite in Week 1 vs. Chicago. 

Ford Hamp has her own athletic background, playing varsity tennis at Yale. She was a member of the first class of women to graduate from Yale in 1973. Ford Hamp was appointed to the NFL's Super Bowl and Major Events advisory committee last spring.

The Lions are one of six NFL teams with a sole female owner, along with the Bears (Virginia McCaskey), Saints (Gayle Benson), Titans (Amy Adams Strunk), Texans (Janice McNair) and Seahawks (Jody Allen). The Bills, Browns and 49ers are co-owned by a married couple. 

Which teams sail past their projected win totals? What is the SportsLine model's stunning Packers prediction? And how many wins will every NFL team have this season? ... See every projected win total, including the shocking prediction for the Packers, all from an uncanny computer model that crushed its NFL win total picks last year!   

Matt SeveranceSeverance Pays