Matthew George Millen (born March 12, 1958) is a former American football linebacker and executive. Millen played for the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League, and over his 12-year NFL playing career, he played on four Super Bowl-winning teams. He won a Super Bowl ring with each of the three teams for which he played; moreover, he won a Super Bowl ring in each of the four cities in which he played (the Raiders won championships in both Oakland and Los Angeles during his tenure).
After his playing career, Millen was President and chief executive officer of the Detroit Lions from 2001 until the 2008 NFL season. His eight-year tenure as head of the franchise led to the worst eight-year record in the history of the modern NFL (31-84, a .270 winning percentage), and resulted in his termination on September 24, 2008. Millen assembled the personnel and coaching staff of the 2008 Lions, which became the first team to go 0-16. This was the sole worst single-season record in league history until it was tied by the 2017 Cleveland Browns. He is generally regarded among the worst general managers in the history of modern sports.
Following his NFL career, he was a football commentator for several national television and radio networks. His last job before joining the Lions was as a member of the number two broadcast team for NFL on Fox, as well as being the color commentator for Monday Night Football on Westwood One. On February 1, 2009, he joined the NBC broadcast team for pre-game analysis of Super Bowl XLIII. He has also been employed by ESPN as an NFL and college football analyst, and by NFL Network as a color commentator on Thursday Night Football. In 2015, Millen returned to Fox NFL and debuted on Big Ten Network.
Millen in 2009
|No. 54, 55, 57|
|Born:||March 12, 1958|
Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||250 lb (113 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1980 / Round: 2 / Pick: 43|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Millen was born and grew up in the Hokendauqua section of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania. He attended Whitehall High School in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley region. He was a standout high school football player for Whitehall, which played in the highly competitive East Penn Conference.
During his 12-year NFL playing career, Millen played for the Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Washington Redskins. He won a Super Bowl with each of these teams, including two with the Raiders (one when the team was based in Oakland and one during their stint in Los Angeles). He won one Super Bowl each with the 49ers and Redskins, though he was de-activated for Super Bowl XXVI while with the Redskins.
During his NFL career, he was selected to play in one Pro Bowl (in 1988). Millen finished his 12 NFL seasons with 11 sacks and 9 interceptions, which he returned for 132 yards, and 8 fumble recoveries. He also returned 7 kickoffs for 72 yards. Tackles were not recorded at that time.
Following his professional football career, Millen worked as a color commentator for CBS TV (which teamed him with Sean McDonough, Paul Olden, Mike Emrick, and Tim Ryan), and for Fox (which teamed him with Dick Stockton). He also provided game analysis for the radio broadcasts of Monday Night Football, working alongside Howard David on CBS's Westwood One radio network.
At Fox, Millen came to be considered the number-two analyst for its nationally broadcast games, behind John Madden (who had been teaming for years with Pat Summerall). He filled in for Madden, alongside Summerall, on the 1997 American Bowl game because John Madden had fears of flying.
Millen returned to broadcasting when he served as a studio analyst for NBC's coverage of Wild Card Saturday, his first television appearance in an analyst role since the 2000 NFC Divisional Playoffs, and reprised that role for NBC on their coverage of Super Bowl XLIII.
On June 15, 2009, Millen was named the lead analyst for the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football telecast, replacing Cris Collinsworth. He was also a color analyst for ESPN College Football telecasts, teaming with Sean McDonough and Holly Rowe.
In 2001, Millen left broadcasting to assume the job of the Detroit Lions' CEO and de facto general manager. At that time, Millen had no prior player development or front office experience. When first approached by owner William Clay Ford, Sr. about the job, Millen told him "Mr. Ford, I really appreciate this, but I'm not qualified." Ford responded "You're smart. You'll figure it out."
Millen was the Lions' CEO for seven full seasons, from 2001–07; during that time, the club compiled a record of 31-81 (with at least nine losses each season). Detroit's .277 winning percentage was among the worst ever compiled by an NFL team over a seven-year period; only the Chicago Cardinals of 1939-45 (10-61-3, .141) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 1983-89 (26-86, .234) were less successful.
During the early part of Millen's tenure (2001–2003), the Lions failed to win a road game for three years (0–24) before opening the season with a win at the Chicago Bears in 2004. Overall, the Lions went 8–50 on the road during the Millen era. Millen himself admitted to an interviewer in 2008 that the team's record under his leadership has been "beyond awful". The Wall Street Journal said that NFL executives admit in private that Millen "has made more bad draft decisions than anyone else in two centuries".
Despite the team's record on the field, Millen was the second-highest paid general manager in the NFL. With a draft record that included a number of high first-round draft picks who were considered poor choices (Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington, and Mike Williams among them), and widespread disappointment among fans, the media, and even some players, Millen received a five-year contract extension from Ford at the start of the 2005 season. Following the team's 3–13 performance in 2006, Ford announced that Millen would be retained as General Manager for at least another season, because, according to inside sources to the Ford family, they still believed that Millen was the best GM that the Lions ever had. On September 24, 2008, Millen was confirmed to no longer hold his positions with the Lions. Whether he was dismissed or resigned was unclear. It was later reported by a team official that Millen was actually fired.
The chant began to spread during a college basketball game between Michigan State and Wichita State at The Palace of Auburn Hills on December 10, 2005. It started when ousted Lions coach Steve Mariucci was shown on the big screen, prompting a standing ovation for Mariucci and a loud chant of "Fire Millen!" The following night in Los Angeles, in an NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers, the chant surfaced late in the 4th quarter at the Staples Center. The chant had also been heard during various Detroit Red Wings home and away games, and during a college basketball game between Michigan and UCLA. Former Pistons power forward Rasheed Wallace even took part in the chant during a late timeout in a December 16, 2005 game against the Chicago Bulls. A "Fire Millen" sign was shown in the background of a February 3, 2007 broadcast of ESPN College GameDay at the University of Kansas. One large sign with the "Fire Millen" slogan was removed by NCAA officials at the NCAA Division II Football Championship in Florence, Alabama.
The "Fire Millen" chant returned in force to Ford Field during the second half of the 2006 Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins, when former Lions quarterback and first round pick Joey Harrington (often a scapegoat for the Lions problems) led the Dolphins to a 27-10 victory over the Lions, dropping the Lions' record to 2-9. More "Fire Millen" chants were heard at wrestling events, namely WWE's WrestleMania 23 held at Ford Field, and TNA's Bound for Glory. For 2008, the "Fire Millen" chants were back in force during the game against the Green Bay Packers.
On December 9, 2005, in protest of Millen's poor record, one Detroit Lions fan site, known as "The Lions Fanatics," led by owner Dan Spanos organized an "orange out" event, which encouraged Lions fans to show up at Ford Field clad in hunter's orange, the color of their opponent that week, the Cincinnati Bengals.
In a game against Chicago on December 24, 2006, another group of fans, led by Herbert Nicholl Jr., planned a walkout protest towards the end of the first half to express their disgust with the current management.
After a 0-3 start to the Lions 2008 season, Lions vice chairman and Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr., told reporters on September 22, 2008 if it were up to him, he would fire Millen. Despite this, the elder Ford claimed he had no plans to dismiss Millen.
However, on September 24, 2008, Millen's tenure as team president and general manager ended. Lions owner William Clay Ford later announced that Millen had been relieved of his duties as Lions General Manager and Team President. The Lions would finish the 2008 season with a record of 0-16 and would not win again until Week 3 of the 2009 season.
On the edition of January 3, 2009 of NBC's Football Night in America, Millen admitted his role in the team's downfall, saying he would have fired himself after the 2008 season. During NBC's pre-game show for Super Bowl XLIII, Detroit's affiliate WDIV-TV ran a ticker on their website, asking viewers to question his credibility as an NBC Sports panelist, given his past with the Lions. Over 36 pages of comments were posted on the station's website.
Millen was diagnosed with the rare disease amyloidosis in 2017. Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal proteins called amyloids, produced in the bone marrow, build up in organs or tissue. In Millen’s case, the disease affected his heart, reducing it to operating at about 30 percent capacity. Millen was told he needed a heart transplant to continue living. As he waited for one he began chemotherapy to rid himself of the amyloidosis. The transplant surgery was performed at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey on Christmas Eve 2018.
On January 5, 1986, at Los Angeles Coliseum, after losing the AFC divisional playoff game to the New England Patriots, Millen intervened in an on-field dispute between Raiders player Howie Long and Patriots general manager, Patrick Sullivan, by punching Sullivan in the face. Sullivan said the punch made him "see stars" and that he required stitches. Millen later called the incident "a good hit".
In December 2003, following a Lions 45–17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, Millen came under fire after a postgame incident with former Lions and then-Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton. Millen tried to congratulate some of the Chiefs players near the Chiefs locker room, when he confronted Morton, who claimed that he wasn't going to say anything to Millen. When he walked by him, Millen said, "Hey Johnnie." Morton ignored him, and then Millen replied, "Nice talking to you", and Morton replied "Kiss my ass." That's when Millen shouted, "You faggot! Yeah, you heard me. You faggot!" at Morton, which was heard by a member of the Chiefs public-relations staff and a Kansas City Star columnist. Millen apologized for the incident, and after he was informed of Millen's remarks, Morton replied, "I apologize for what I said, but I never expected anything like that. What he said is demeaning and bigoted." There had been bad blood between the two since Morton was released by the Lions after the 2001 season, and Morton felt like Millen "tossed him aside."
On April 24, 2010, at the 2010 NFL Draft, Millen apparently referred to fellow ESPN commentator Ron Jaworski as a "Polack", after which he made an on-air apology, stating that he "didn't mean anything" by the remark.
|| Detroit Lions President
The 1994 Detroit Lions season was the 65th season in franchise history. The Lions finished with a 9-7 record and made their second consecutive playoff appearance as one of the NFC's Wildcard teams -- the first time the franchise had made the playoffs in consecutive non-strike seasons since 1954.
Despite the signing of Scott Mitchell from Miami in the offseason, it was former Seattle quarterback Dave Krieg who led the Lions into the playoffs following an injury to Mitchell. For the second consecutive year, the Lions lost in the playoffs to the Green Bay Packers.1996 Chicago Bears season
The 1996 Chicago Bears season was their 77th regular season completed in the National Football League (NFL). They failed to improve on their 9-7 record from 1995 and finished with a 7–9 record under head coach Dave Wannstedt. It was the team's first losing season since 1993 when it was Wannstedt's first season.1996 Green Bay Packers season
The 1996 Green Bay Packers season was their 78th season overall and their 76th in the National Football League, which culminated with the franchise winning its third Super Bowl and league-record 12th NFL Championship. The Packers posted a league-best 13–3 regular season won-loss record, going 8–0 at home and 5–3 on the road. It was the first time since 1962 that the club went undefeated at home. Additionally, the Packers had the NFL's highest-scoring offense (456) and allowed the fewest points on defense (210). Green Bay was the first team to accomplish both feats in the same season since the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. They finished the season with the number one ranked offense, defense, and special teams. They also set a then NFL record for the fewest touchdowns allowed in a 16-game season, with 19. The Packers also allowed the fewest yards in the NFL and set a record for punt return yardage. Brett Favre won his second straight MVP award while also throwing for a career-high and league leading 39 touchdown passes.
In the postseason, the Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round and the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game. Green Bay beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI to win their third Super Bowl and twelfth NFL Championship.In 2007, the 1996 Packers were ranked as the 16th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions. The 1996 Packers were ranked 6th-greatest Super Bowl team of all-time by a similar panel done by ESPN and released in 2007. As of 2019, the Packers are the only team since the implementation of the salary cap to score the most points and allow the fewest in the regular season.1996 Philadelphia Eagles season
The 1996 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 64th in the National Football League (NFL). The team matched their previous output of 10–6 and qualifying for the playoffs.
After a season ending injury to Rodney Peete, Ty Detmer took over the starting role. For the second time in three seasons, the Eagles were 7–2 at the nine-game mark, thanks to a thrilling win November 3 on the road against Dallas. The capper to that contest was a combined 104-yard interception return between James Willis and Troy Vincent in the final moments which turned a potential game-winning drive by the Cowboys into a Philadelphia victory.
As in 1994 under Rich Kotite, the Eagles wilted. This time four losses in five games, including an embarrassing 27-point setback on national TV at Indianapolis, had the club scrambling in the playoff picture. However, wins against the lowly Jets and Cardinals managed to right the ship, and a wild-card berth was the reward.
The 1996 season was also the first season the Eagles debuted the midnight green, white, and black look, with new helmet designs and the logo and endzone font as well.1998 Green Bay Packers season
The 1998 Green Bay Packers season was their 80th season overall and their 78th in the National Football League. It ended with a 30–27 loss in the NFC Wild Card Game to the San Francisco 49ers, with Steve Young throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens with three seconds left. The season marked the end of an era in many ways for Green Bay; this was the last season for which both head coach Mike Holmgren and Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White would find themselves on the Packers' sideline. This was the first time the Packers had not won the division in four years. In addition, the Minnesota Vikings brought an end to the Packers 25 game home winning streak in Week 5.
1998 was the final season that the Packers would qualify for the postseason during the 1990s. They would not return to the playoffs until 2001.2001 Detroit Lions season
The 2001 Detroit Lions season was the franchise's 72nd season in the National Football League.
Marty Mornhinweg was named the twenty-first head coach in franchise history on January 21, 2001, after owner William Clay Ford, Sr. controversially fired 2000 interim coach Gary Moeller.The season began with much optimism, with the Lions hoping to improve on their 9–7 record from 2000; however, the Lions were extremely disappointing and had the worst start to an NFL season since the 1986 Indianapolis Colts began 0–13. They were widely believed to be likely to suffer the NFL’s first 0–16 season before they defeated the Minnesota Vikings. Prior to that, they had lost an NFL record nine consecutive games by eight points or less.Seven seasons later, the Lions went 0–16 after a week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. This was the final season that the Lions played at the Pontiac Silverdome before moving to Ford Field the following season, as well as the final season for the NFC Central Division, which would dissolve following the NFL's realignment in 2002.
This would also be the first season under new general manager Matt Millen, as he would be the team's GM for the next six seasons and first 3 games of the 2008 season. This would start a stage of futility for the Lions, as they would fail to post a winning record with Millen as GM.2004 Detroit Lions season
The 2004 Detroit Lions season was the franchise's 75th season in the National Football League.
The team began attempting to improve on their 5–11 record from 2003, they improved to 6—10 that season but, the Lions couldn't make the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season. In week 1, the Lions defeated the Chicago Bears in Chicago, 20-16, to snap a 24-game road losing streak, which was the longest road losing streak in franchise history. It was the first road win for the Lions under Matt Millen. The Lions would defeat the Houston Texans the next week, 28-16, to start the season 2-0. In week 7, the Lions defeated the New York Giants 28-13 on the road to begin the season 4-2, while going 3-0 on the road during that span. However, in the weeks following, the Lions played disastrous football, as they would lose 5 straight games to sit at 4-7. The Lions would then defeat the Arizona Cardinals 26-12 the following week. However, the week after that, the Lions were eliminated from the playoffs after they lost to the Packers 16-13 in Green Bay. The Lions would only win 1 more game the rest of the season, as they defeated the Bears in week 16 19-13 at home. The Lions sweep over the Bears during the season would be one of 2 times during the Matt Millen era that saw the Lions sweep a divisional opponent. They also did it in 2007, which was also against the Bears.Bowl Championship Series on television and radio
When the Bowl Championship Series was formed in 1998, television coverage was consolidated on the ABC Television Network. Beginning with the 2006 season, the Fox Broadcasting Company took over television coverage of the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl games. ABC retained the Rose Bowl game under a separate contract. Radio broadcast coverage has been on ESPN Radio.Dick Stockton
Dick Stockton (born Richard Edward Stokvis on November 22, 1942) is an American sportscaster. He is currently employed by Fox Sports as a football play-by-play announcer.Joe Theismann
Joseph Robert Theismann (born September 9, 1949) is a former professional gridiron football player, sports commentator, corporate speaker and restaurateur. He played quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL). Theismann spent 12 seasons with the Washington Redskins, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler and helped the team to consecutive Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XVII and losing Super Bowl XVIII. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Following his retirement from football in 1985 after a career-ending injury, Theismann worked as a sportscaster and an analyst on pro football broadcasts with ESPN for nearly 20 years. He primarily partnered with Mike Patrick, for the network's Sunday Night Football package and for one season of Monday Night Football with Mike Tirico and Tony Kornheiser. Theismann also worked as a color analyst on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football package with play-by-play voice Bob Papa and Matt Millen. Theismann also co-hosts the network's weekly show Playbook.
Since 2011, he has worked on the Redskins preseason television broadcast team. Additionally, he works on the NFL Network on a variety of programs, primarily as an analyst.Theismann is the owner of Theismann's Restaurant and Bar in Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1975. He also performs as a speaker for corporate events, speaking on topics such as leadership and self-motivation.List of American Bowl broadcasters
The following is a list of the television networks and announcers to have broadcast the American Bowl, which was a series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that were held at sites outside the United States between 1986 and 2005. Out of the list, ESPN hosted the America Bowl the largest number of times, with NBC coming second.List of NFC Championship Game broadcasters
The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers who have broadcast the National Football Conference Championship Game throughout the years. The years listed concentrate on the season instead of the calendar year that the game took place. The forerunner to the NFC Championship Game (prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger) was the NFL Championship Game.List of NFL on Fox commentator pairings
These are the following announcer pairings for the NFL on Fox.List of Orange Bowl broadcasters
Television network, play-by-play and color commentator for the Orange Bowl from 1953 to the present.List of Super Bowl broadcasters
The following is a list of Super Bowl broadcasters, that is, all of the national American television and radio networks and sports announcers that have broadcast the first four AFL-NFL World Championship Games and thereafter the championship games of the National Football League. It does not include any announcers who may have appeared on local radio broadcasts produced by the participating teams.
Originally alternated between the AFL's broadcaster (then NBC) and the NFL's broadcaster (then CBS), the game is now alternated between the three main broadcast television rightsholders of the NFL—CBS, Fox and NBC. CBS has televised the most Super Bowl games, with Super Bowl LIII as its 20th.
NBC originally had broadcasting rights for the Super Bowl XXVI and CBS for the XXVII, but the NFL allowed the networks to switch the two games in order to allow CBS a significant lead-in to its coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympics. Likewise, NBC was to air the Super Bowl LV and CBS for the LVI, but they agreed to swap the broadcasting rights, therefore CBS will benefit from holding rights to the Super Bowl and the 2021 NCAA Final Four, whereas NBC will be abled to pair its Super Bowl coverage with the 2022 Winter Olympics.List of World Bowl broadcasters
The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who broadcast the World Bowl. The World Bowl was the championship game of the now defunct NFL Europa (and its forerunner, the World League of American Football).Martin Mayhew
Martin Ronz Mayhew (born October 8, 1965) is a former American football player and former general manager of the Detroit Lions. He is currently a Senior Personnel Executive for the San Francisco 49ers. Mayhew was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the tenth round (262nd overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft. A 5'8", 172 lb cornerback from Florida State University, Mayhew played in eight NFL seasons from 1989-1996. He won a Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXVI, starting for the Washington Redskins.Reggie Kinlaw
Reggie Kinlaw (born January 9, 1957) is a former American football defensive tackle who played college football for the Oklahoma Sooners and for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and Seattle Seahawks in the National Football League. He graduated from Miami Springs Senior High School.
Drafted in the final round of the 1979 NFL Draft, Kinlaw soon worked his way into the rotation on the defensive line. He went on to become a mainstay at the nose tackle position, starting on Raider Super Bowl winners following the 1980 and 1983 seasons. He was considered an unsung hero on those defenses, which featured stars like Ted Hendricks, Rod Martin, Matt Millen, and, later, Howie Long, Lyle Alzado, and Greg Townsend. Despite being somewhat undersized at 6-2 and 250 pounds, Kinlaw's quickness demanded double teams, freeing up his teammates to make big plays.
Reggie Kinlaw now coaches the defensive line on the varsity level at St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge, California. His son Reggie Kinlaw, Jr. also coaches defensive line on the Junior Varsity level at St. Francis High School.Tom Lewand
Tom Lewand is a former executive for the Detroit Lions. Lewand was named president of the Detroit Lions on December 29, 2008, after the team finished the first 0-16 season in NFL history. He previously served as the Lions Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He succeeded Matt Millen as the president. In his role as president, Lewand oversaw all aspects of the Lions organization. Lewand was fired by the Lions on November 5, 2015. He has now become the CEO of a Detroit leather and watch company, Shinola.He is a big fan of Taylor Swift.
|Division championships (4)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (4)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
ESPN NFL personalities