|Sports Franchise Philosophies: Steelers, Eagles . . . Lions. (Part 2 of 3)
||[Jul. 9th, 2006|02:15 am]
Accountable is an important term to learn for discussion of the inner-workings of the Detroit Lions and their front office.
Here is the definition from Dictionary.com:
1. Liable to being called to account; answerable.
2. That can be explained: an accountable phenomenon.
See Synonyms at responsible.
Accountability also stands as an important term to learn for discussion of the matter at hand.
Here is that definition:
-> Responsibility to someone or for some activity.
See Synonyms at answerability, answerableness.
Everything done by the Detroit Lions can be explained and answered, and everyone holds responsibility to their superiors for their actions.
Of this everything, of course, not everything may be correct. Of this everyone, not everyone may be correct.
Consider this initial report in a news article on Charles Rogers.
From the beginning of the article:
Associated Press 4/14/03
DETROIT - The NFL informed star receiver Charles Rogers that he had excessive water in his urine when he took a drug test in February, and that is regarded as a masking agent under the league's drug policy, Rogers' agent said Monday.
"He had to go to the bathroom for them at 5:30 in the morning and with people standing all around him," said Kevin Poston, Rogers' agent. "He couldn't go, so they gave him a lot of water and 30 minutes later, he did.
"I'm very comfortable with this. This does not put Charles in the league's drug program. If they want to evaluate him, that's fine, because Charles doesn't use anything."
Fast forward to October 3rd, 2005. In this article by ESPN, the NFL informed Charles Rogers that he was to be suspended for violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Under this policy, most of the players' involvement in a substance abuse program is confidential until a suspension is earned. A suspension is triggered by testing positive at least three times for an illegal street drug.
In the next couple of days, the NFL announces that Charles is suspended for four games.
When asked directly, of course, Charles is an efficent man. On his locker, a note informed everyone that "He Is Not Available!"
His agent, Kevin Poston, also would not answer calls. He had the diligence to wait for Charles to account. Charles likes to take time to gear up for these moments, since he believes in quality.
Instead of direct contact, the Lions released an official statement from Charles. As follows from the article:
"I will make no excuses for what I did, and I accept full responsibility for my actions," Rogers said in a statement released by the Lions. "I let down a lot of people, mainly myself."
See? Charles is a classy guy.
Later, in another report, I remember Charles Rogers explaining himself in further detail. At one point, he described himself, in reference to his situation, as a "bobblehead."
Be careful. If you touch it, you could break it.
See? Everything in the franchise is explained, when it needs to be explained, and everyone in the franchise, above all, maintains their accountability.
Of course, not every writer understands the Lions philosophy.
Michael Smith, in this ESPN article, gets it all wrong. His understanding of the Lions is that the franchise is chaotic. Every fiber of the article bleeds negative opinion.
A snippet from Mr. Smith's article, detailing the post-game of a Lions loss:
Everything came to a head. Tempers flared in the locker room, with several veterans, among them cornerback Dre' Bly, linebacker Earl Holmes, tight end Marcus Pollard and guard Damien Woody, letting the offense have it, because for all the picks and money spent on that side of the ball, it hasn't done anything. The message to the underachievers was simple: You reap what you sew.
That's not chaos, Mr. Smith. The Lions were discussing the situation among themselves. They were leading up to accounting for it.
Again, another choice passage:
Mariucci is in the minority right now. He actually believes the sniping going on within his team is a good thing.
Said the coach, "It's a united locker room, and I'll tell you how."
"Because every one of them has a great passion for this organization to win. Does frustration set in? You bet. It should. I'd rather have it that way than a bunch of apathetic guys."
In two sentences, Mr. Steve Mariucci accounted for the team, and he explained how his account was possible.
Mariucci is a master of being accountable.
So are Matt Millen and the Fords.
Sometimes you have to re-account for previous accounts. In this ESPN article, you can find detail of the re-accounting for Charles Rogers and his signing bonus.
"Nobody knows the trouble I've seen . . . "
This concludes part 2 of 3.
To jog back to part 1, go here.
To continue to part 3, go here.