Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford: A Loyal Man, Maybe to a Fault
William Clay Ford Sr. passed away on Sunday from complications from pneumonia. He was 88 years of age.
He bought the Detroit Lions for $ 6 million in 1963. Ford would have turned 89 on Friday. He was second longest-serving owner in the NFL at the time he passed. He was the last surviving grandson of Henry Ford.
The Lions franchise is now valued at approximately $900 million, far more than the $6 million Ford invested in it 50-some years ago.
The Lions won just one playoff game during William Clay Ford's 50-year tenure as the Lions' owner. The Lions have never gone to the Super Bowl. They have had five double-digit winning seasons(1979,1991,1993,1995,2011). They also have had 19 double-digit losing seasons.
William Clay Ford Sr. was a very charitable man, maybe to a fault. He let many Lions brass, coaches, and players stay around too long. This team has had many problems on the field and in the front office.
When someone passes, you give condolences and put things in the right perspective. I am a very understanding person--as a matter of fact, my late father "Ed" would have been the same age as Ford. My dad died in 1993 at 67 years old.
My point is that of course you feel bad that this man passed, but the Lions have been a lousy franchise since 1963. This team and organization doesn't know how to win. Now, Bill Ford Jr. takes over and a new era begins with the Detroit Lions.