I’ve covered the team for 12 years and, just when you think you’ve seen it all, THIS happens.
In 12 years, I’ve NEVER been lied to or led astray — NEVER — by anyone in the building in Owings Mills!
(That’s what I’ve come to expect from the Orioles, not the Ravens!)
Not one coach or player or front office person has EVER been dishonest with me, so obviously, it’s easy to buy into the credibility of all of your sources.
Especially, when they’re all saying the same thing: Billick is the safest guy in the building.
I’m floored, shocked beyond belief actually — but not TOTALLY baffled by it.
* The team was 5-11.
* Billick clearly had issues with some of the players, including Ray Lewis, who ultimately has won the war.
* The loudest fans were screaming at the top of their lungs to get rid of Billick, but that ALWAYS happens when a team is 5-11. (I gotta think Mike Preston is the happiest man on the face of the earth. It’ll be his best New Year’s Eve ever!)
* There were definitely some “disciplinary” issues that became an issue when the team started losing, and those were NOT an “in-house” secret in Owings Mills.
* Of course, the offense has stunk for much of his nine-year tenure but that didn’t seem to matter when they were 13-3 twelve months ago.
* Steve Bisciotti owes Brian Billick a LOT of money! Like 15 million dollars or more…
And obviously NO ONE in the building saw this coming, or the entire organization went out of its way to make this the secret of the century.
But rebuilding is what they’ll be doing beginning today. I heard “massive” changes and reported it as much over the past two days, but “massive” always included “but Brian is safe.”
Or maybe Steve Bisciotti was the only one who knew?
Wow. So much to say, so much to report.
It’s the most wrong I’ve ever been in reporting a story in my 24-plus years of journalism at The Sun, The News American and in radio. I PRIDE myself on getting it right.
Obviously, today I was had — completely and totally HAD!
(As was EVERY single reporter in Baltimore, since Jay Glazer was the first one to know, no doubt a text message that came from someone inside the room.)
My confirmation came at 1:52 and I couldn’t believe the message and almost doubted the validity of it. I thought it was a JOKE!
As it turns out, we’re all heading to Owings Mills for a 3:30 press conference.
But everything we’ve reported all day was what a myriad of sources were telling us — that Billick was “the safest guy in the building” as one person told me.
Like Don Henley once sang: “The more I know, the less I understand…”
We’re honestly wondering who ELSE was fired along with Billick at this point.
More to come…