Detroit Sports Fans
were fed up. They wore orange during the 2005 Millen Man March that flooded the streets of downtown Detroit as they demanded that owner William Clay Ford fire GM Matt Millen.
But something strange happened when those fans settled into Ford Field to see the Lions play the Cincinnati Bengals. They were met by fans who were upset that they took to the streets. They snatched away their “Fire Millen” signs. How can you not support the team, they demanded to know.
Detroit Sports Fans gone wild
Well, they were supporting the team. They wanted to Lions to be better. They were tired of supporting a tired product and they knew the Lions would never win until after Millen left the organization.
There are misguided fans who believe you should put up with a team’s bullshit no matter what. They call themselves true fans. I call them misguided.
“My team right or wrong.”
They said that if you are so upset about the team then stay home. Why are you at the game?
I run into these people all the time and I cannot tell you how much it angers me. The Lions were never going to progress as a team until they fired Millen. He set the franchise back a decade.
If a team has gone south and shows no signs of progress, the worst thing you can do is remain silent. If you are a real fan you should let management know you are not happy. You can affect change. If you remain silent then lazy ownership will just assume you are happy with the product and let things slide.
A few weeks ago several hundred disgruntled Tigers fans carried signs. Detroit Fans chanted for GM Al Avila to be fired. At the time Tigers owner Chris Ilitch had no intentions of firing Avila. The Tigers had launched a campaign telling the media all the great things Avila did as GM. The Tigers were reminding people what a great guy Avila was.
Give Al one more chance, they said.
Last week Avila was fired and you cannot convince me that the right field protests did not play a role. Or booing Ilitch and Avila at the ball park did not play a role. Of course it did.
Previous owner Mike Ilitch told me once that Tiger fans moved him to action when folks believed he was being cheap and did not care. The fans woke him up and Ilitch began spending money and acquiring talent. It did not lead to a championship but we saw exciting baseball and the Tigers advanced to the 2006 and 2012 World Series.
Now the Tigers have taking the first step to being a better ball club. By firing Avila the Tigers took the first step to being a playoff team or even maybe a World Series team. If you remained silent maybe Avila is still in charge. You’d be forced to go into another five-year dead end rebuild.
Detroit Sports Fans Confusion
I never get people who support a bad product.
Do you stand up and cheer a bad play at the theater?
Do you frequent a restaurant that serves over priced and bad food?
The same should apply in sports.
You can support your local team because you have emotion attached to it. But let them know if you are not happy with the product.
If you remain silent nothing will happen.
Follow Foster on Twitter at TerryFosterDet.