By Bomani Jones
Special to Page 2

The Detroit Lions have won one playoff game since 1957. And the next one won't come anytime soon.

Think it's bad now, Lions fans? Don't forget that team president Matt Millen's contract extension kicked in at the end of the 2005 season.

After the Lions won 16 games in Millen's first four seasons, owner William Clay Ford gave Millen five more years on the job.

"I think Matt has built a great foundation for us to move forward," Ford told "I cannot think of anyone better to see it through than Matt."

That statement alone explains so much about the state of the American automotive industry.

Lions: Past Five Years
Year Record Pct.
2005 5-11 .313
2004 6-10 .375
2003 5-11 .313
2002 3-13 .188
2001 2-14 .125
Last winning season: 2000
Last playoff season: 1999

If Ford can't think of anyone better than Millen to run the Lions, he must not have watched what Millen did leading up to 2005. He hired Marty Mornhinweg as head coach in 2001. And Mornhinwheg made a fool of himself in his first training camp by skipping out of practice because, supposedly, he heard a cell phone ring. But he'll forever be remembered for one of the worst strategic moves ever -- his decision to take the wind instead of the ball after winning the overtime coin flip in a 2002 game in Chicago. The Lions lost that game on the first possession of OT. And while that game will stand out in fans' minds, it's just one of the 16 road losses the Lions suffered during Mornhinweg's two years at the helm.

For those that did the math -- yes, that's every last one of 'em.

To fix the Lions, Millen fired Mornhinweg and hired former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci. That hire made a big splash, but mostly because Millen ignored the Rooney Rule, which is intended to increase the number of minorities in the coaching ranks.

And the nominees are ...
The Clippers have escaped purgatory. We need a new team to mock. Check out the Page 2 essays on why the following teams may be the new Worst Franchise in Sports.

Arizona Cardinals | Atlanta Hawks Baltimore Orioles | Chicago Blackhawks | Detroit Lions | Golden State Warriors | Kansas City Royals New York Knicks | Pittsburgh Pirates Portland Trail Blazers

Vote: Click on our SportsNation listranker to rank the worst of the worst. Plus, send us your thoughts and sob stories on these teams, and read what others have to say!

Not even Vince Lombardi could fix the mess Millen has made -- and continues to make. Millen's draft record includes future star Roy Williams, but is better known for busts Joey Harrington and Charles Rogers. Last season's first-round pick was Mike Williams, the third wideout Millen drafted in as many years. Such overkill shocked many, but Williams seems intent upon eradicating those concerns by eating himself into a tight end. Dre' Bly was a great free-agent signing, but Millen hasn't brought in much else from the open market.

But for the Lions, this is SOP. The franchise's one playoff win in the color TV era was against a team with Steve Beuerlein at the helm. The Lions saw Billy Sims' career cut short by injuries and Barry Sanders retire with Walter Payton's rushing record in sight because he couldn't stand the losing.

And Barry was only there for 10 years. Imagine how lifelong residents of Detroit must feel?

And with Millen having five more years left on his contract, the playoffs aren't on the horizon.

Bomani Jones is a frequent contributor to Page 2. Tell him how you feel at