Detroit Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. rarely speaks in public, and when he does, he usually delivers something interesting.
At a charity dinner Tuesday, Ford made news with his characterization of the Chicago Bears, one of the Lions’ main rivals.
In describing the atmosphere of Ford Field when the Lions played the Bears Sunday, Ford referred to the Bears as “thugs.”
“It was really alive, and it was alive when we played those same bunch of thugs on Monday night, you know, last year,” Ford said, talking about the 2011 Monday Night Football game in which the Bears committed nine false starts because communication became so difficult thanks to the roar of the raucous crowd.
A Lions spokesman said after the dinner that Ford was just joking, but whether Ford made the comments in jest or not, they seemed to line right up with comments Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz made after Sunday’s game.
Schwartz complained to press after Sunday’s game that he could not believe the Lions did not get the benefit of “a hundred holding calls” and ripped officials for not penalizing a Bears player for spearing Kris Durham, a Lions receiver who took a helmet right in the back as he lay on the ground after recovering an onside kick.