Last Thursday was an interesting day in the history of the Baltimore Ravens.
It marked the first time the franchise openly told their fan base, “No offense, but WE will run the team if you don’t mind.”
There have, in fact, been occasions over the years – especially under the ownership of Steve Bisciotti – where the club apparently acquiesced to public pressure by making a change in personnel (Billick’s ouster is the most notable) but no such concession is coming this time around.
Cam Cameron isn’t getting fired, much to the chagrin of the Baltimore football community.
Steve Bisciotti made it clear last Thursday. “The fans…their frustration can’t lead us to offer someone as a sacrifice for what went wrong.”
That’s code word for: We’ll fire people when we think it’s appropriate to fire people. The fans aren’t going to fire anyone.
Anyone who listened to me or read my work throughout the latter half of the season and particularly last week knows where I stand with regard to Cam Cameron. I wouldn’t have retained him. But I’m not foaming at the mouth the way lots of folks in town are…because I also believe the Ravens have “team dysfunctions” that make finding better PLAYERS more important than finding better COACHES. I believe that. I think the Ravens can with a coaching foursome of Harbaugh/Cameron/Pagano/Rosburg…but only if they improve their roster with 6-8 significant players who will add speed and power to both side of the ball.
Now, I’ll be fair to the Ravens for a minute while I dissect one of the major issues with the way the fans behaved in the aftermath of the 31-24 loss to the Steelers a week ago Saturday.
One Ravens executive confessed, “We were disappointed in the reaction once a few days passed and everyone had a chance to digest the season as a whole. We expected an initial level of frustration, but it seemed to get worse as the week went on.”
I’ll agree with that statement.
On all fronts.
Personally, I thought the overall fan reaction WAS disappointing given the team’s successful season. And I too assumed it would reach its zenith by Tuesday or so and then everyone would sip a cup of Reality Tea and slowly come back to earth.
I remember seeing John Harbaugh during the bye week – on the heels of that narrow home escape over Buffalo – and saying to him at Owings Mills, “Those people (fans) are crazy, bro. They’re nuts.”
Turns out I was right about that one.
But I also have a pretty good grasp on why there’s been such an outcry since the meltdown at Heinz Field, and I mentioned this to a Ravens executive last week when we were discussing the fan reaction in Baltimore.
In Baltimore, there’s the Ravens. And that’s it.
This struck me again last Tuesday night in Philadelphia when I was at the Flyers/Capitals game. During a time-out, I broke into a discussion