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Who is the Worst GM in Detroit Sports History?


Mr.TaterSalad

Who is the Worst GM in Detroit Sports History?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the Worst GM in Detroit Sports History?

    • Al Avila - Detroit Tigers
      1
    • Bob Quinn - Detroit Lions
      1
    • Matt Millen - Detroit Lions
      8
    • Randy Smith - Detroit Tigers
      0
    • Russ Thomas - Detroit Lions
      0
    • Troy Weaver - Detroit Pistons
      1
    • Other
      0


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We've had a lot of proud, storied moments in Detroit sports history. We've had multiple World Series titles, NFL Championships (though no Super Bowl), Stanley Cups, and NBA Championships.

However, we've also had a lot of not so proud moments in our sports history as well. These terrible moments in our sports history have largely been thanks to incompetent ownership and the General Managers they have employed to build their teams. We have certainly had our fair share of downright awful GM's in this town too. We've had the near 25 year reign of terror with Russ Thomas as Lions GM, followed later by Matt Millen's near decade's long reign of terror. We've had Randy Smith and Al Avila running teams that were on pace for the all time losing record in Major League Baseball. And now, we currently have a GM in Troy Weaver with the Pistons whose working on his own record of all time futility in the NBA.

So that begs the question; Who is the worst GM in Detroit sports history and why?

Edited by Mr.TaterSalad
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I think you have to go with Millen.  I fear Troy Weaver may beat him some day and it looks like Gores will give him the ability to hang on as long as Millen too.  I hated Quinn, but it was also short lived.  I think both Smith and Avila have some legitimate owner interference issues that didn't help them and we are seeing some players from the Avila era that might make an impact with the Tigers that elevates him, at least from the bottom.  I can't speak to Thomas, I really don't know much about it outside of if he was the Lions GM, sometimes after the 1950's, he probably at least deserves to be on this list.

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This is a tough call. Russ Thomas may have been the most irritating, but Russ was actually succeeding in doing what he and WCF wanted to do, which was keep enough flash (Owens/Sims/Sanders etc) on the team to keep 'fannies in the seats' without he or WCF ever having to work hard at the actual details of team building. So his failure was as much by design.

So it comes down to Millen vs Weaver - who have in common that neither had/has the slightest clue how to build a team for the league their team is in, always a solid 1st step toward ignominy for anyone arriving at a GM gig. Millen of course has the longer tenure to his (dis)credit, but three of Millen's teams were merely mediocre as opposed to terrible. Weaver OTOH, took a bad team and then managed to take it the rest of the way to terrible and then made it incrementally worse each year since, while simultaneously gutting the team's prospects to ever get out of the hole he has dug. This combination of feats, in the end, stands alone and above all the other GM ineptitude in Detroit history despite his having achieved it in a mere 4 yrs.

Edited by gehringer_2
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I go with Weaver over Millen. Both were bad, but I still contend that Millen had the right vision. Millen came in and wanted to add more speed and switch to a West Coast offense which was a modern offense at the time. He didn't execute on the personnel and everything else that goes with running a team. Millen also wasn't qualified for the job but was given it anyways. Weaver was qualified based on his resume, but his vision of acquiring so many non shooters in the modern NBA is bizarre. His obsession with failed lottery picks and trading for a bunch of big men who can't shoot or do much of anything else is weird. Millen drafting Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams failed but I get the vision. He focused too much on skill positions but the NFL was transitioning to being a more passing league and Millen was on top of it but all the players he picked sucked. Weaver not only collects bad players but players suited for a bygone era. 

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40 minutes ago, Motown Bombers said:

Millen drafting Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams failed but I get the vision.

yeah - the idea that forcing a #4 DB to go against a #1 level receiver would be a big advantage isn't wrong per se, but it ignores that a football team is a 'weakest link' enterprise, and that if you don't spend your draft capital to shore up your weakest areas, you will be the one being over matched in those areas of the game and you will never get to where your receiver mismatch wins you any games. And of course as noted, he was doomed anyway because he drafted bad receivers.

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Ned Harkness, the Wings' GM for three seasons in the early 1970s, deserves a dishonorable mention. His relatively short tenure prevented him from doing as much damage as many of the names on your list, but he was so bad it led to the "Darkness Under Harkness" moniker.

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