Friday, July 27, 2007

William Clay Ford speaks to the media. TWFE translates

On Thursday, Lions owner William Clay Ford spoke to the media about the upcoming season. If you really read between the lines, you could translate just what the crotchety old octogenarian was actually trying to say.

About the 2007 season: "I'm usually optimistic anyway going in. But I think this year really will be a little bit special."

Translated: How special? As in riding the short bus to school "Special." As in having to wear a helmet when leaving the house "Special." As in the bad ass FoMoCo legend "Hank the Deuce" talking about his "Special" little brother, William Clay.

This is "Hank the Deuce," the legendary Ford brother who successfully ran Ford Motor Company for 35 years , doing so with an iron fist. Henry Ford II is the Ford that should have owned the Lions...

To keep him from meddling in the family car business, Hank's little brother, William Clay Ford, was given the keys to enter the NFL kingdom, and ran the Detroit Lions, rather than Ford Motor, into the ground.

In regard to NFL HOF bound tight end Charlie Sanders: "He's just one of those rare people that you wish you had more of."

Translated: I like Col. Sanders, and his crispy Kentucky fried Chicken. Who is this Charlie? Is he the Tuna?

About Matt Millen: "Faced a learning curve."

Translated: Matty's "Special," just like "Hank the Deuce" thought I was!"

On the former coaches: "Millen didn't mesh with his first two head coaches -- Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci -- but found a partner in Marinelli."

Translated: "Matt will be marrying Marinelli. Marty and Mooch spurned his advances.

On the team's new attitude: "I think before it was based a lot on raw skill and potential, period. And I think now you add character to that and a desire to play football, and they've got to have that or we don't consider them."

Translated: I just said a whole lot of nothing clichés that Marinelli likes to use, you try and make sense of it. I can't.

On losing 13 games: "I had confidence in Millen and Marinelli even as the Lions went 3-13 last season."

Translated: No one else will work for me. I'm stuck with these 2 losers.

On the Millen & Marinelli pairing: "I could see right off that they were compatible, and to me that was very, very important. I know Matt's philosophy. As the year went on, I got to know Rod much better and I could see where they would mesh. You don't want to break up a combination like that."

Translated: They're really cute together. How could I fire them? When they talk football "Philosophy" though, I have to go talk to my portrait of "Hank the Duece." He thought I was "Special," you know.

On the rumors that Millen was going to get the ziggy: "I don't know where those originated. I sure never said anything even approaching that -- or if I did I didn't mean to."

Translated: I wanted to fire Matty? Really? I'm old and senile. I don't remember what I say from minute to minute. You expect me to remember if I threatened to fire Matty last year?

Why no "Vote of confidence" statement for Millen?: "I didn't say, 'You're safe, don't worry about it,' in so many words. But by the same token, I never intimated to him that he wasn't safe. It was business as usual."

Translated: I never fire anyone. Why start now?

On Millen saying he would never quit: "He may have. It wasn't a big issue, because that really wasn't in my plans. He well may have, but I can't remember any occasion or verbatim talk that we had about it. Yeah, I think your premise is correct."

Translated: I told you I can't remember what I said a minute ago. If you told me that Tommy Hudspeth was still coach, I'd believe you. Is he still coach? And why am I inducting Col. Sanders into the hall of fame?

Is the reason Millen is still here is that you like him?: "It's possible. But I think if you like somebody and you believe in the same things that they believe in, I don't know what other yardstick to put against it."

Translated: I think Sting said it best...

If you love somebody
If you love someone
If you love somebody
If you love someone, set them free
Set them free
Set them free
Set them free

Or was it Celine Dion?

There's nothing that you cannot do
I believe I believe I believe in you

The reason there's no magic number, win-wise, for Millen: "We obviously have to show tremendous improvement. I think it'll be plainly visible to all of you whether or not we're making the progress I keep saying we're going to make or hoping we're going to make."

Translated: Hey, 6 wins is 2X more wins than last season. Isn't winning twice as many games good enough for you ink stained wretches, and the revolting fans?

On why he believes Jon Kitna, and his 10 win prediction: "I'm always an optimist before the season starts and you've got high expectations. When the team doesn't live up to it, you're very disappointed.

Translated: I like it when they tell me what I want to hear. I'm too old, feeble, and rich to care if they lose.

Why he doesn't think about past failures: "Thank goodness I can put that behind me and look forward. If I dwelled on the past, I'd shoot myself. Really, I've never felt that way. But if I were a fan, I could understand it."

Translated: I'm aware the fans want me dead, but I don't know how to use a gun, and Jeeves wouldn't pull the trigger.

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