One must go. One will stay.
That is the word you get around the NFL regarding Lions coach Jim Schwartz and General Manager Martin Mayhew. One coaches the team. One puts it together. But they do not get along.
I do not know that to be true but you keep hearing that on the back channels among NFL sources. Let’s say the stories are true. There is really no need for this team break up if both men are doing their jobs. Friction between coach and GM is as old as sports.
Let’s go back to the 1980s and 1990s when the Pistons enjoyed their most successful run. Chuck Daly was the coach. Jack McCloskey was the General Manager. And guess what. They did not always see eye to eye. There was friction between the two that lasted until the day the Bad Boy Pistons broke up.
So what happened? They unseated the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, went to three NBA Finals and won two NBA titles. They held off Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls until the team got too old. It was a decade long run and it was a great time for basketball here.
I was the beat writer then and it was obviously they did not get along. Both men wanted the lion share of credit for the Pistons success. One time three of us writers were huddled in a corner talking to McCloskey during practice at Oakland University. We were whispering in a gym where basketballs were bouncing, players yelling and sneakers were squeaking.
Daly saw us. He knew McCloskey was giving his side to a story.
Daly yelled: “Hey writers! We are trying to conduct a basketball practice. Do you mind?”
That message was for Trader Jack to shut up. They grumbled about one another but they enjoyed a good run.
The same can happen for the Lions even if Schwartz and Mayhew don’t get along.
(I have a book signing Aug. 1 at Dirty Jerseys in Windsor (7:30-9:30 pm). My book 100 Things Tiger Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die is $15 each or two for $25.