DETROIT - He strode in through the club level entrance neatly attired in a black leather Cincinnati Bengals jacket with his Super Bowl ring intact.
His silver hair gleaming, he took care of his family including what appeared to be his little granddaughter and then took the elevator up to the Press Box where he would watch Sunday's game.
This was the first time that he had entered Ford Field (save a scouting appearance at the Motor City Bowl last year) since being unceremoniously dumped by Matt Millen for what was called at the time "philosophical differences."
Bill Tobin didn't want to get into what led up to the parting of the ways between he and Matt Millen, but as he contemplated the fan protest outside and the general discontent with the team, Tobin couldn't help shaking his head at what has become of the Lions franchise and its relationship with its fans.
"A lot of good people.. good football people got burned here. It was expensive and it was unnecessary," said Tobin. "I've still got a house here across the street. I built it because I thought I was going to be here."
Tobin spoke glowingly about his new team, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals, since hiring defensive genius Marvin Lewis as their head coach and Tobin as personnel director, have taken a sharp turn upward. Sunday was the crowning moment, the Bengals clinched the AFC North with their 10th win, a 41-17 pasting of the Lions.
Racous Bengals fans celebrated the long awaited moment in what temporarily became Paul Brown Stadium North. Their field leader, quarterback Carson Palmer responded to the cheers from the fans by throwing his AFC North Champion hat into the crowd.
Tobin just watched and smiled.
"He said I was being fired due to philosophical reasons," said Tobin. "Who's philosophy seems to be right now?"