A busy week for Michigan state legislators got even more bizarre Friday morning. Following the removal of Matt Patricia and Dan Quinn, state legislators officially requested who the new Detroit Lions head coach would be. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that state house representative Abdullah Hammond and his staff have sent a letter to Lions Owner Shiela Ford Hamp. The letter reads as follows:
“As passionate and loyal Lions fans, we are asking you to hire Robert Saleh as the head coach of our team. He is the best candidate for the job and measures as such across every metric. A head coach like Robert can bring tremendous energy and heart to the franchise and would help us reach peaks that have seemed unobtainable for so long. We have an exceptional opportunity here and we trust you to make the best decision.”
The letter is a rather bizarre one considering the circumstances. Rarely do we see politicians give their input into the day to day operations of an NFL franchise. The NFL has a strict policy of interviewing candidates of different backgrounds.
A politician requesting a specific candidate be hired for a job at an NFL franchise a slippery slope. The Lions owner is clearly not looking at the legislators as NFL consultants anytime soon. Hamp responded to the letter saying, “we are going to be looking into everything” when talking about potential replacements.
No word yet on reactions from the commissioner’s office or Roger Goodell himself, but it’s safe to assume this won’t go ever well with the top-tier of NFL management.
Detroit Casino Closure Updates
While everyone in Detroit wants the Lions to be competitive, they also want the option to bet on their teams. They also want to be able to wager on games like many other states are allowing. COVID-19 has put most people’s lives at a standstill and that has not helped gambling in Michigan.
Sports betting is legal in Michigan at retail sportsbooks but has not yet launched online. On November 18th, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that casinos would temporarily close until Dec. 8th. It appears that this order could be extended too.
Each casino has its own set of circumstances. Detroit casinos are mostly closed, while other tribal operated casinos can remain open in the state. Some tribal casinos are closing or limiting operations. Pending a change from the state health department, this is when you can expect your casino to open in December.
Meanwhile, online sports betting is coming to the Great Lakes State, though progress has been slow. A full launch is expected in December 2020 or early 2021. For now, Michiganders have only a few options as far as retail sportsbooks go.
Michigan Tribal Casinos Remaining Open
- FireKeepers Casino
- Four Winds Casinos (all locations)
- Gun Lake Casino
- Island Resort Casino
- Leelanau Sands
- Northern Waters Casino Resort
- Odawa Casino
- Ojibwa Casinos
- Saganing Eagles Landing
- Soaring Eagle Casino Resort
- Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel