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Lions Conference Call a Success

I admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard about this. Last week I received an email from The Detroit Lions telling me about a conference call that they were going to do with every season ticket holder that wanted to participate.

All you had to do when they called, was to answer the phone, and you were connected! The set up was that they would call, and you would have an opportunity to talk to either Julian Peterson, Larry Foote, or Matt Stafford. You could ask one of them any question that you wanted. I thought, “Oh yeah, me and 30,000 other people”.

So today the phone rings and when I answer, it’s a recording telling you how this was going to work. If you wanted to be a part of it and answer a question, press *3, otherwise just stay on the line and you can listen in. So what the hey, I press *3 and listen. The ringmaster was Matt Shepard, sports radio and television broadcaster extraordinaire.

First he introduces team President, Tom Lewand, who just got off a plane in Florida for some meetings, and Tom talks a little bit about the exciting changes that the Lions have gone through and how much he is looking forward to the season. Nothing exciting there. “See ya Tom, and do what you can to implement a rookie wage scale.” Then Matt opens it up for questions by calling out your name, and letting you ask any of the 3 any question. It was like the Larry King show, “Tom from St. Clair, you’re on. What is your question?”

I listened for a little while, and then someone started talking to me asking me what question I was going to ask. This was behind the scene as I couldn’t hear anything else but this guy. So I told him my question, and he says that it’s a great question, hang on. Now I’m back listening to everyone else again, and Matt says, “next we have Dave Gillikin. What’s you’re question Dave?” I was dumbfounded. I really didn’t think I would be talking. But I gathered myself and I directed my question to Larry Foote.

I asked him why did he only target The Detroit Lions after The Steelers cut him? He replied first by saying that he knew other teams may want to talk to him, but that the Lions were the team that really wanted him and could almost assure him that he would be playing every down. That and he liked that the new head coach is a defensive minded coach, and that it was a chance to be back home. Wow! I talked to Larry Foote. I guess now I’ll have to get his jersey.

Most of the questions were fluff type questions, and nothing really earth shattering. One thing for sure is that Matt Staford is a cliche machine. Everything from, “taking it one game at a time, to let the chips fall where they may”. Where’s Jim McMahon when you need him?

Now I don’t know if this was legit or not, but one of the questioners was Frenchy Fuqua, a former player from the Pittsburgh Steelers, who is best noted for being part of the “immaculate reception”. Or maybe best noted for the goldfish in his platform shoes? I’m not sure. But Frenchy was born in Detroit and is a season ticket holder. He didn’t really have a question, he just commented on how in 1969 the Steelers were 1 – 13, and in a few short years were Super Bowl winners. Now if Matt Stafford is the second coming of Terry Bradshaw, then I can see that.

All in all I thought it was pretty cool. I didn’t stay on the line too much longer because I was at work, but I think that this was a great PR move by the Lions, and although it won’t mean that they win any games, it goes to show how the new regime works for the Lions. Can you imagine Matt Millen doing this?

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