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Matt Millen gets Lions fans lathered up again

Last week, I generated a little street cred in the place that makes the things that drive on them, questioning how Matt Millen, the worst G.M. in the history of pro sports, has finagled not one nor two but three jobs in the media.

Millen was working one of his jobs on Monday night for ESPN.  Though I didn’t see it, several readers tell us that Millen was extolling the virtues of Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware with the kind of hyperbole typically displayed by a certain towhead who participates in the calling of the Monday night games.

The comments prompted plenty of Lions fans to hurl shoes at their televisions, given that Ware was on the board five years ago when Millen picked Mike Williams, the Lions’ third first-round receiver in four seasons.

The next man drafted?  DeMarcus Ware.

The slurping of Ware highlights the problems with having Millen on the air.  Plenty of men who were bad coaches or executives make it onto television.  But none have been worse than Millen, to the point where no astute fan can listen to him without seeing 0-16 flashing like the clock on a new VCR.  (Hey, kids, if you don’t know what a VCR is, ask your grandma.  She likely had one that flashed 12:00 for at least two years.) 

But we’re all supposed to listen to Millen and not think about the fact that he’s opining on things that he tried to do — and failed at worse than miserably.

Fortunately, Lions fans know better.  Fans of the other 31 teams are simply hoping that Millen doesn’t talk his way into making the owner think that Millen deserves another shot at running a team.

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58 Responses to “Matt Millen gets Lions fans lathered up again”
  1. Freebird2010 says: Oct 25, 2010 8:54 PM

    Worst GM in the history of professional sports–a record of futility that will never be broken.
    That’s Matt Millen’s legacy.
    In Detroit, people are thankful for the mute button.

  2. superb owl says: Oct 25, 2010 8:54 PM

    of course millen wasnt good at it. keep picking easy targets, florio.
    but, as an MI resident, it seems to me that old wcf had some significant input on high picks and large contracts… thinking rogers and jo-ey. probly more. millen was indubitably a yes man.
    the old man is most happy with a 7, or 8, or 9 win team, lots of points on the board, and only occasionally a playoff game. if the team was any better… he might actually be challenged for control.
    how else to explain why a suckup non-entity like lewand has stuck around so long…
    junior might change that. but till he is in charge, folks, i would expect more of the same.

  3. ryanleaf says: Oct 25, 2010 8:56 PM

    Couldn’t agree more Florio. I can’t stomach that clown personally. He absolutely needs to go.

  4. seanx says: Oct 25, 2010 9:00 PM

    I am glad that I am not the only one that feels that way. I couldn’t believe he was saying that crap.

  5. Common Sense says: Oct 25, 2010 9:02 PM

    Why do you hate this guy so much, let it go! Everyone knows he sucks.

  6. Uncle Leo says: Oct 25, 2010 9:02 PM

    and yet, he still knows more than you!

  7. detroitslim says: Oct 25, 2010 9:13 PM

    The sad thing about Millen is that by blind statistical chance, he should have done better than he did.
    He could have picked draft choices at random, and done better than he turned out. His dismantling of the Detroit Lions was no accident, it was sustained, aggresive incompetence.

  8. garywizard says: Oct 25, 2010 9:17 PM

    It looks like Mike Williams will turn out to be a better pick than Ware …
    If Ware had been drafted by the Lions, they probably would have ruined him as well
    the problem is not the draft picking … the problem is the development of those picks when it comes to the Lions
    Next bust in line: Matt Stafford

  9. ahall13 says: Oct 25, 2010 9:18 PM

    Keep the millen truth coming until ESPN fires this bum please!

  10. Duder says: Oct 25, 2010 9:20 PM

    Florio you can’t run an NFL front office either and you still finagled a media position. Just because he was a crappy GM doesn’t mean he doesn’t know anything about football or can’t provide interesting insight. By the way, he has been gone for a few years now and the Lions haven’t gotten any better.

  11. NoLockout2011 says: Oct 25, 2010 9:25 PM

    Amen. When I first saw Millen on tv as an — get this — ANALYST, all I could think was, “Why would I ever listen to this guys opinion on football?” He was the worst evaluator of talent and he’s dull to listen to.

  12. buckup says: Oct 25, 2010 9:27 PM

    Golf clap. You nailed it. And it’s not ONLY Lions fans. It’s any serious football fan. It’s like having a hedge fund manager lost 50% per year for multiple, multiple years (with advantages such as high “picks”) yet you would take investment advice from him afterwards? PLEASE! If he has no demonstrated ability to do what he speaks about, why should anyone listen?

  13. cobrala2 says: Oct 25, 2010 9:29 PM

    ESPN responds, “Mmkay, and your point is what exactly, sir?”

  14. Duder says: Oct 25, 2010 9:29 PM

    People are such hypocrites when it comes to Millen. If you look back at every decision or draft pick he ever made, most seemed pretty good at the time.
    Harrington was not the first or last quarterback taken high in the first round to stink up the joint. The next year they took Charles Rogers over Andre Johnson which a lot of other people would have done as well. There is no way you could have predicted the off-field issues or that he was gonna break his collar bone two years in a row. People loved the year that they took Kevin Jones and Roy Williams in the first round. Calvin Johnson was a good pick obviously. The only pick I remember people hating at the time was when they took Mike Williams, which I cannot defend. They always had seemingly good coaches as well.
    My point is that sometimes things just don’t work out. Ultimately he deserved to get fired because the team didn’t perform but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know anything about football.

  15. snake11s says: Oct 25, 2010 9:29 PM

    Thanks Mike for being the first to put 2 and 2 together.
    I never stopped to think why Millen was an analyst.
    You are so smart, keep up the good work and I will keep coming back!

  16. MLZ says: Oct 25, 2010 9:34 PM

    I never bought a vehicle made by Ford Motor Company because I reasoned that if William Clay Ford would hire and keep Millen for all those years, he probably had the same lack of insight in choosing managers for Ford Motor Company.

  17. buckup says: Oct 25, 2010 9:35 PM

    The Bungles will probably extend Lewis and hire Millen for GM. That would be so obvious I’m not sure it could really happen.

  18. j-wil says: Oct 25, 2010 9:38 PM

    When not on ESPN, Millen can also be seen filling in on the Richie Kotite show! The only show NFL Insiders watch!
    Or, catch one of his motivational speaking engagements, he opens for Matt Foley at the Holiday Inn airport, Flint, Mi

  19. JimmySmith says: Oct 25, 2010 10:04 PM

    Matt Millen was our hero in the NFC North, he was worth about two additional bye weeks in the Bears, Vikings, and Packer schedules.
    We miss him very much.

  20. mrqtte says: Oct 25, 2010 10:10 PM

    One of the worst GM’s in history at evaluating talent. The worst GM in terms of veracity for telling the truth: if I am terminated from my position of employment with the Lions I will not seek any future portion of my (guaranteed) contract. Walking dead whore on deck.

  21. adeem4578 says: Oct 25, 2010 10:14 PM

    As a lions fan there is nothing I hate more than to see Millens retarded ass paraded in front of me damn near every time I watch football. It’s ridiculous that this man even still has a job, let alone a job in the football business… what a f*ing joke this guy is!!

  22. formerly dystopianow says: Oct 25, 2010 10:18 PM

    “Though I didn’t see it, several readers tell us that Millen was extolling the virtues of Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware with the kind of hyperbole typically displayed by a certain towhead who participates in the calling of the Monday night games.”
    C’mon Florio, a thesaurus is good but you don’t need to use it on EVERY word!

  23. Alydar says: Oct 25, 2010 10:28 PM

    Why do you have this personal hard on for Millen?
    First of all, success in the league clearly isn’t a prerequisite to be a capable analyst. Too many examples to list. It’s a different job.
    Second…it seems that Mike Williams can play football once he overcame his cranial/rectal inversion.
    Good thing they love you in Detroit. The rest of us are wondering why you insist on taking unprovoked shots at a guy who was a very good player, but a failure at one job.

  24. kilo31actual says: Oct 25, 2010 10:33 PM

    I never want to see matt millen and New York Giants in the same sentence.

  25. PWI says: Oct 25, 2010 10:42 PM

    You talk about zero credibility. He reminds me of George Costanza, what ever he says do the opposite.

  26. Terrell Blowens says: Oct 25, 2010 10:43 PM

    Millen was horrible. No long term plan for building a team.

  27. Dont Taze Me Bro says: Oct 25, 2010 11:01 PM

    Is this a joke? Maybe ESPN should hire a lawyer with no NFL experience to comment on the games. That would be way better.
    Last night Trent Dilfer was criticizing Brett Favre. Dilfer can’t hold Favre jock, but it doesn;t mean he has no right to comment on Favre.
    Maybe ESPN can get Emmitt Smith back. Joe Montana was a terrible broadcaster, maybe they can bring him back too.
    He failed as a GM but he was and still is a very good broadcaster.
    Now i’ll let you get back to watching Countdown with a sportscaster who tries to talk politics. Talk about no credibility.

  28. Mika says: Oct 25, 2010 11:07 PM

    I have to laugh at a sports reporter (such as yourself) proliferating that the necessary abilities of one of the previously mentioned occupations is in any way congruous with the other. The vast majority of successful and entertaining sports reporters have more in common with the characters in a clever jib jab skit than they do with a successful NFL G.M. I think Matt Millan is terrific as an on air sports personality, who has experienced the NFL from both the trenches and the boardroom, and offers decent insights into both. He’s a likable guy with a nice on the air presence. Just as you are Mike. I don’t imagine you’d fair very well as a G.M. either, but I still enjoy following your work in your jib jab gig.

  29. FairHooker says: Oct 25, 2010 11:09 PM

    My VCR is flashing 12:00 right now. You get used to it.

  30. Rashard Mendenballs says: Oct 25, 2010 11:19 PM

    Florio i am a lions fan and this has been old news to us for at least 4 or 5 years on a number of different topics.
    This is the same GM that always did his draft analysis of prospects from the talking heads at ESPN, and always had the mind set inside the war room on draft day of “MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY”…
    Keep in mind the first thing he did when became GM of the lions was to fire Ron Hughes, Lions director of scouting. Ron Hughes was quickly picked up by the Steelers and has been their College Scouting Coordinator since 2003. I think a number of our scouts were fired by Millen and were then picked up by the Steelers.

  31. President Florio says: Oct 25, 2010 11:30 PM

    “(Hey, kids, if you don’t know what a VCR is, ask your grandma. She likely had one that flashed 12:00 for at least two years.)”
    So you are calling yourself an old man Florio?

  32. ButchD says: Oct 25, 2010 11:39 PM

    seriously Florio, Millen was good at the TV stuff before he was a GM. You have even less wins as a GM than Millen. You sound like a jealous teenage drama queen.

  33. Dryheave says: Oct 25, 2010 11:41 PM

    ” But none have been worse than Millen, to the point where no astute fan can listen to him without seeing 0-16 flashing like the clock on a new VCR.
    Hey Florio, I’ll let you in on a little secret. 99% of what these talking heads say go in one ear and out the other. That includes your crap. There are so many of you gum flappers out there it just sounds like white noise….I don’t think of how bad a GM Millen was. I don’t think of anything when he speaks. It’s just more BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH

  34. SATAN says: Oct 25, 2010 11:50 PM

    Thats the Mike Williams who is about to be comeback player of the year, right? He had talent he just wasn’t mature enough to handle all that cash. Wasn’t Millens fault.

  35. PasqualWisdom says: Oct 26, 2010 12:27 AM

    Here’s the difference between Matt Millen and myself. He’s run a franchise in to a grave and I haven’t. Maybe I should spout the same crap over and over again before and after games. And when he is analyzing talent………….uck I want to vomit. No credibility.

  36. vankman79 says: Oct 26, 2010 12:30 AM

    if there was ever any chance that it was possible to jump through a television just once, i would use that to jump in and kick matt millens dumb azz…………. he is a retard, who would give this idiot a job?

  37. detroitordie says: Oct 26, 2010 1:21 AM

    Duder, dont defend him.
    While you may try to justify the first round picks there is more to a draft than that…
    HIGH HIGH second rd picks..
    Kalimba Edwards, Boss Bailey, Teddy Lehman, Shaun Cody, Daniel Bullocks, Drew Stanton, Jordan Dizon
    High second round picks should be starters on bad teams, even good teams. There’s a reason you havent heard about these guys even after they leave the Leos.
    Would you like me to move onto the third rounders?
    PS.. We even extended Kalimba and gave him like 25 mil cause even tho he didnt prove it yet, he was gunna “break out”. Thats referred to as a waste of money, sir.

  38. LiberalGuilt says: Oct 26, 2010 1:52 AM

    @ Dont Taze Me Bro — Here is why your Trent Dilfer analogy doesn’t work. Matt Millen is NOT to general managers as Trent Dilfer is to quarterbacks. In other words, Dilfer was a mediocre QB at best, and I agree he’s nowhere near as good as Favre*, but he wasn’t the most God-awful waste of money to ever play the position.
    A more favorable comparison would be if Ryan Leaf were working the booth. Do you think anyone could take him seriously if he critiqued the play of another quarterback? Of course not, because the name Ryan Leaf is synonymous with failure as a quarterback the same way Matt Millen is synonymous with failure as an executive. And honestly, Millen was way worse at his job, and for a much longer period of time.
    People wouldn’t complain if a former GM who was a mild failure at that position got a job as an analyst, but there’s nothing mild about the FAIL written all over the Millen era.
    *from what I have seen lately, Favre’s jock wouldn’t be all that heavy and hard to carry. HEY-YO!

  39. wd40 says: Oct 26, 2010 2:28 AM

    The Mute Botton should have a new name to the NFL community–The Millen Button.
    The destroyed a decade of Detroit football, for which they are still attempting to recover from.

  40. Vanir says: Oct 26, 2010 4:25 AM

    I won’t defend Millen’s record as a GM, but people seem to always forget that he was a terrific player.

  41. tatum32 says: Oct 26, 2010 7:19 AM

    “extolling the virtues of Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware with the kind of hyperbole typically displayed by a certain towhead who participates in the calling of the Monday night games.”
    That certain “towhead” wouldnt happened to have a ring..and is more telegenic then you are..and was one of People’s most 50 beautiful people would it? Thats why he’s on T.V. and thats why you wouldnt call out his name.

  42. Flojan says: Oct 26, 2010 7:34 AM

    I guess that ESPN has used up all of the real talented football people. How can they use Millen, I feel that real football fans just ignor him. He is soo hard to look at, listen to and believe in. Steve Young must be a saint to work with him. I am sure that ESPN feels that Matt Millen give them ratings. Go figure.

  43. dbartdog says: Oct 26, 2010 7:57 AM

    I’m no Johnny-come-lately on Matt Millen. When he was announced as Commander-in-chief and dictator for life of the Lions…I just laughed. The media all jumped on his bandwagon…claiming the Lions problems were over and done. Here was a guy who never ran anything in the NFL and was given control…LOL, It was a disaster waiting to happen. When MM speaks…I hit the mute button…no lie!

  44. connie73 says: Oct 26, 2010 8:09 AM

    For PWI
    you are so right on. I can’t even listen to this man
    knowing what he did with the lions and then seeing him and his opinions everywhere i go on tv. just goes to show you espn hires anybody.
    how do we get rid of him???????

  45. LetsGoPens says: Oct 26, 2010 8:32 AM

    Honestly… he keeps getting broadcast jobs because he’s a former NFL player who is very good at providing color commentary.
    Talent evaluation, contracts, management etc… yeah that’s not his true calling.
    Articulating to a TV audience interesting facets of an NFL game a non former player wouldn’t pick up on… he’s pretty good at that.
    It’s just like Eddie Olcyk and the NHL. The dude was the worst coach the Penguins have ever had and they had a record losing streak under him… but he’s still better at ARTICULATING the nuances of the NHL game than most former players/coaches.

  46. Floridacock says: Oct 26, 2010 8:51 AM

    At least the fans in Detroit are aware of the “mute” button, unlike Florio.

  47. objectivity says: Oct 26, 2010 9:03 AM

    Detroit doesn’t need an excuse to blame Millen. I live there, everyday he gets blamed for something. The clowns on local radio blame him for the Stinking Lions team and the 13% unemployment in MI.

  48. Love_Boat_Scandal says: Oct 26, 2010 9:08 AM

    You know what’s almost as old as VCRs? Jokes about VCRs involving the flashing 12:00.

  49. 81Daytona says: Oct 26, 2010 9:11 AM

    Just in case there are any employers of this jackwagon that read this site, when I see Matt Millen on TV I turn the channel.
    It’s just that simple.
    He has no credibility in word or deed.
    He is an embarrassment to your organization.
    And anybody that actually approved the hiring of this idiot should also have their credibilty questioned as well…

  50. lions51 says: Oct 26, 2010 9:14 AM

    “MLZ says:
    October 25, 2010 9:34 PM
    I never bought a vehicle made by Ford Motor Company because I reasoned that if William Clay Ford would hire and keep Millen for all those years, he probably had the same lack of insight in choosing managers for Ford Motor Company.”
    William Clay Ford Sr. has nothing to do with Ford Motor Company that’s why he bought the Lions in the ’60’s so he can have something to run. The family knew better to have him making decisions for FMC.

  51. Lott42 says: Oct 26, 2010 9:55 AM

    Matt Millen was a complete and utter disgrace as GM. However he does seem to know what he is talking about on the air, plus the guy knew how to play ball when the whistle blew.

  52. JoeSchmoe says: Oct 26, 2010 9:59 AM

    “Slurping Ware” = Classic!
    And I love the fact that there are Millen apologists still trolling about… hilarious as well. Ford hired Millen to get the monkey of being a horrible team off his back and at the time, it wasn’t seen as a horrible move… then… they started drafting…

  53. jmac09 says: Oct 26, 2010 10:36 AM

    Duder says:
    October 25, 2010 9:20 PM
    Florio you can’t run an NFL front office either and you still finagled a media position. Just because he was a crappy GM doesn’t mean he doesn’t know anything about football or can’t provide interesting insight. By the way, he has been gone for a few years now and the Lions haven’t gotten any better.
    its rather obvious you havent watched the lions play a game yet…

  54. Metrocritical says: Oct 26, 2010 11:00 AM

    While there may be many reasons to criticize some of the opinions proffered by Florio & Co. at this site, there can be no shortage of reasons to criticize Matt Millen and those who choose to hire him as a broadcaster. It is well settled that Millen’s performance at the helm of the Lions ranks as the worst ever in the history of professional sports. Not mediocre. Not bad. The worst. Ever. Anywhere. Millen has not criticized soley based on his well documented, persistent failures but also in the grand style in which he so flagrantly failed. He failed without humility. He failed without grace. Like a flamboyant contortionist, he routinely stuck his foot in his mouth while his head was up his arse. From his pulpit as Lions executive, Millen revealed himself to be an intellectual lightweight on issues pertaining to staffing decisions, delegation of authority, selecting of scouts, choosing personnel and public relations. He also displayed an attitude of arrogance and disdain towards the fan base that he was ultimately supposed to be entertaining. After observing the entirety of Millen’s act over the better part of a decade, an informed observer could only conclude that Matt Millen is a glib, vapid, talking head who pretends to know what he’s talking about with the ability to fool only a portion of his audience, whether that audience consists of just William Clay Ford, the ESPN people or a select group of stuporous tv viewers at home. If one were to actually listen to what Millen has to say, one would certainly realize that Millen doesn’t have anything to say

  55. Chuck Jones says: Oct 26, 2010 11:02 AM

    Every time Millen talks football on tv there should be a little bar that pops up with his image that gives his name and his record as a GM.
    And, every time he utters the words “Favre” or “Coach Madden” on tv one game should be deducted from Favre’s starting streak until we deduct 1 for each of those starts that were against “his” Lions… yes, I fully believe Millen was part of an overall conspiracy to create the Favre monster. He’s as responsible as Mike Sherman for this mess!

  56. dewalt2990 says: Oct 26, 2010 2:37 PM

    Millen was also responsible for hiring the personnel that trained those draft picks/athletes. Don’t blame the Lions for not developing the players, Millen couldn’t find coaches that could coach. Subsequently those coaches couldn’t find any decent position coaches(as hindsight is 20-20). It was a viscous cycle.

  57. mwcarolina says: Oct 26, 2010 3:22 PM

    (“Next bust in line: Matt Stafford”)
    Disagree, if he can be protected and can stay healthy, he’s got star wrote all over him. i like his potential.
    As for Millen, just listening to him criticize annoys me, i especially dont like it if he criticizes a GM, if i ever hear him criticize a GM, i will want to throw a shoe at Millen. Millen was the worst GM ever. he didnt draft great players and he hired bad coaches. i can see why he passed on Ware (he didnt have a 3-4 defense), but Mike Williams was a bust and he took Roy Williams too!!! he was good, but they could’ve done better and picked other players in that draft.

  58. slightlyopt says: Oct 26, 2010 8:01 PM

    The problem with having Millen as a commentator on an NFL show is that he was terrible as a GM. Yes he was a good player, and could have some value as a commentator using that experience, but it seems he always is putting his two cents in on talent analysis, of which he was no good at. People point out the M. Williams is playing pretty good now, and that others were considered “good” picks at the time. But, while these players (especially the top picks) had talent, some of them didn’t have the maturity or temperment for the pro game. As a GM who was making the draft decisions, he should have had a better knowledge of not only the talent level of the player but his psychological make up as well before they took those players that high. Joey wasn’t the type of guy that endeared himself to his team mates as a leader, C. Rogers had dope problems, M. Williams didn’t have a good work ethic, etc., etc. And just because M. Williams looks to have figured it out 4-5 years later, doesn’t mean he was a good pick @ #10 overall back then.

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