Friday, December 5, 2008


The Detroit Lions are a disgraced franchise in the National Football League. They have started this 2008 Season at 0-12 and may break the all-time record for the most defeats in a single season. This is not a record any sports team would want. Each year, on Thanksgiving Day, the Detroit Lions play a home game -- for the sports fan, the Lions are almost as much a part of Thanksgiving as is turkey. Today the Lions are the turkey.

What does this have to do with UJC you ask? Well, this past Holiday, CBS Investigative Reporter, Arman Ketayan, born in Detroit, analyzed the plight of the Lions and Detroit, in words that resonated "UJC" to me. Let me paraphrase: "To the downright despair of so many...(UJC is) the spitting image of Detroit: poor design, faulty engineering, bad parts and the wrong (men) behind the assembly line of problems." What Ketayan suggested for the Detroit Lions basically follows what I and others have suggested as potential cures for UJC -- change the bad parts to good and put the right women or men "behind the wheel" immediately.

In the Detroit Lions' case, there is a paucity of talent; in UJC's case, the problems that exist are not for lack of talent. At UJC there exist a wonderful group of dedicated professionals. They are encumbered by the lack of leadership -- lay and professional. In football, the plays are called in from the coaching staff and are executed by the pros on the field; at UJC, the plays are constantly being changed -- even as one play is being executed, the "leaders" are reversing themselves and heading in a different direction. Few can appreciate how these constantly changing directions can destroy the professionals' morale.

Bottom line, Arman Ketayan demanded that the Detroit Lions' owners -- not surprisingly, the Ford Family -- sell a team that has been pathetic for almost a decade. In the instance of UJC, it's time for the owners to take charge, to demand evidence of UJC's value for the money/dues paid it year-in and year-out. Slowly, led not by those paying the most dues, but by those for whom the "Fair Share dues" have become so painful, so unsupportable, those demands are being made. "What are we getting for our dues, for $37 million in dues" is a demand for proof -- and UJC "leaders" can't/won't respond. They no longer have a response if they ever did. UJC's mantra now of "Wait 'till February 2009" is like another pathetic sports team -- Chicago's Cubs -- whose pathetic "wait 'till next year" doesn't resonate after a century of futility.

Detroit Lions/UJC -- today, one and the same.


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