Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Ernie Accorsi on Martha Ford: “She’s tired of losing”

Martha Firestone Ford


Lions owner Martha Ford made it clear she wasn’t satisfied with the direction of her team when she fired team president Tom Lewand and General Manager Martin Mayhew in midseason.

And the approach she’s taken to remaking her team has impressed the guy she’s asked to help look for a new G.M.

Consultant Ernie Accorsi told Johnette Howard of that it’s obvious the 90-year-old Ford wants her team turned around, and the sooner the better.

All I know is she wants to win — now,” Accorsi said. “She wants this so badly. She really does. She’s tired of losing.”

Accorsi went on to say Ford has many traits in common with Bears owner Virginia Halas McCaskey and the late Ann Mara.

“All of them are elegant, tough-minded, smart, in-control women,” Accorsi said. “And feisty.”

Accorsi said Ford was clear with what she was looking for in a new G.M., and told him not to think he needed to stay within traditional boundaries.

“Don’t think the person has to be experienced or safe or respectable and that’s it,” he said. “No. You hire someone you think has greatness in them.”

While it’s easy for football folk to sound a little patronizing when discussing the role of a 90-year-old woman, there is also a clear sense of a new tone surrounding the Lions. Her husband, the late William Clay Ford, was a far more patient owner, but that didn’t yield much in the way of results.