Allen Park — Lions owner and chairwoman Martha Firestone Ford greeted players after Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers, the franchise’s first victory at Lambeau Field since 1991.
Ford, as she typically has over the past two seasons, attended the road game with at least two of her daughters, but kicker Matt Prater said it was the first time he saw her talking to players as they left the locker room since he joined the team last October.
“It was nice,” he said.
Since becoming owner after her husband William Clay Ford Sr. died, Martha Ford has been regularly visible, and coach Jim Caldwell said it’s to the benefit of the players.
“I think visible ownership is great, and Mrs. Ford does it extremely well,” he said Wednesday. “She’s there before games and she’s there after games, and I think guys enjoy that part of it. She comes to practice and things of that nature, so it’s been fun.”
In addition to regularly attending team events, Ford attended NFL meetings the past year. She also sent an email to season-ticket holders last Friday, thanking them from their support and telling the fans they deserve better results.
Caldwell spoke to Ford after the game Sunday as he often does, saying the whole family was “pretty excited.” Interim general manager Sheldon White said the historic win was for Ford, too.
Safety James Ihedigbo said he saw Ford after the win Sunday and that she told him it was a great game.
When Prater saw her, he apologized for missing two extra points that would’ve prevented some stressful moments in the final 2 minutes, but Ford was just glad the Lions won.
“She was excited and I said to her, ‘Glad we got the win, but sorry I didn’t have my best game,’” Prater said. “And she was supportive, so that’s good.”