Before I begin this, let me say that I know that this is a blog that I shouldn’t post. I’ve got one on new year’s resolutions which I know I should go with, but I am so stunned by the response to the Billick firing that I must put that one on hold, and throw out my two cents on Bisciottigate 2007.
I just don’t get the whole “they lied to us” montra. “Everyone has lost their credibility.” I don’t see where all this is coming from. Everyone reported that Billick was staying because everyone with the Ravens said that he was staying. Everyone with the Ravens said that he was staying because the owner said he was staying. Then, the owner changed his mind. When he changed his mind, he called a press conference and said, “I changed my mind. He’s fired.” I don’t see the dishonesty.
I’m not sure why the Ravens posted anything about Billick’s certain return, but my guess would be that it was because it was the only thing anyone was talking about, and since at that time they really intended to bring him back, they honestly thought that it was the right thing to do. If somewhere down the road it is revealed that the organization knew since Thanksgiving that Billick was being shown the door, then everyone can say they’ve been lied to.
People change their minds all the time about jobs, schools, majors, and relationships. Can’t the owner change his mind on the head coach? And we all know that major NFL decisions aren’t made in November. Coaches get fired immediately after the season, unless you are last year’s San Diego Chargers. It doesn’t really matter what anyone thought is November. Bisciotti had to make up his mind this week, and he did. It’s not the decision that he would have made six weeks ago, and maybe it’s a decision he’ll regret six weeks from now, but he had to make a call now and he made it.
I, for one, respect the fact that he didn’t let the contract get in the way. I mean, Bischotti owes Billick some serious coin. I also thought that he took the vast majority of the responsibility. He did mention that he talked to others (Cass and Ozzie) but he basically said that he woke up Sunday morning and decided a change needed to be made.
I think Bisciotti was in a tough spot. He knew that he was going to walk away with blood on his hands, but he needed to make a decision that he thought was in the best interest of the future of his football team. The easier thing to do would have been to sit back and let Billick go through another season. But if Bisciotti really thought that the team would be better without Billick, isn’t it his job to make that call, even if it is the hard thing to do? Even if it puts him in front of the microphones and being called a liar? Really, is that the owner you want? A guy who sits there on Sunday night watching his team finish out a 5-11 season, thinking in his heart of hearts that keeping Billick wasn’t the right thing to do, but doing it anyway because (A) he earlier announced it or (B) it was easier? Now THAT would be bush league.
And this isn’t from someone who has any relationship with him. I’ve never met the man. He could be the greatest guy ever or the biggest jerk in the world, I have no idea. From watching the press conference the other day, he seemed like a pretty decent guy to me. I just don’t see how anyone can call him a liar.