Tag Archive | "kevin byrne"

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Ravens handing of Rice reeks of arrogance

Posted on 25 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

You can only talk your way out of things so much; and eventually even the unwise get wise to theatrical circles of rhetoric.

Ray Rice spoke to the public on Friday afternoon and shared exactly what anyone would expect from a guy trying to repair his image and place a stop-loss on the fallout from an embarrassing and very public domestic violence issue with his then-fiancee’, now wife.

Rice had a case of the “sorries” as he sat on the big stage and spoke to fans by using and abusing the local media via a proverbial dog-and-pony-show out at Owings Mills.  No questions, no comments, no additional information to be had.

Rice, fumbling through his phone, said exactly what he wanted to say; exactly what the Ravens wanted him to say.  Some have openly questioned the confusing strategy used by the Ravens PR team, led by Kevin Byrne.  But after listening to Byrne’s conversation with Nestor Aparicio on WNST.net via  The Happy Hours, anyone who wants to see through the smoke-screen will see that the plan and strategy was to make this situation look like it was one of unrehearsed sincerity.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the strategy, from a PR standpoint, was to make it look like there was, in fact, no strategy.

Considering the fact that Rice was previously taking 100-percent of the heat and criticism for his misstep, it’s pretty savvy for the Ravens, from an organizational view, to deflect and deter at least some of the negative attention from him.

It’s shrewd, it’s savvy, and it reeks of the utmost arrogance.

The truth is that the Ravens can pretty much do whatever they really want to do.  The majority of fans will blind themselves by the purple lights and chalk something like this up to something of a crusade against poor Ray Rice.

But the truth is, Rice doesn’t deserve sympathy and the fans don’t deserve to fall victim to a PR move that completely deters and derails their attention away from the questionable illegal actions from one of its local heroes.

Rice should have made a statement without a phone.  He should have apologized without having to “think” and “remember” what to say via some sort of note-taking app.  And, he should have had the respect and decency to stand up and act like a man by taking questions from the same group of media members who have virtually created the love-affair between he and Baltimore by giving him nothing but thanks and praise during the “good times.”

But Rice didn’t do that.  He opted to allow the Ravens to construct a strategy that made him look like an emotionally-drained victim worthy of everyone’s immediate forgiveness.

If it wasn’t bad enough to have Rice babble and wallow in his own pity-party about his family’s disappointment, the Ravens and Byrne went on to frame him as a victim who was too embarrassed to face women at work and too ashamed to even go to the team’s gym during regular hours.

What’s more is the savvy move to use Rice’s wife–who was truly the victim–as a pawn who publicly apologized for her role in the situation that took place in Atlantic City.  It comes across like the typical “he hits me, but he loves me” mentality, which is even more troubling on so many levels.

The Ravens set this up in the way they wanted this to be set up.  Have no doubt, when camp training camp begins later this summer, there will still be lingering questions from reporters and fans alike, who just want to get to the bottom of what the heck happened that night in Atlantic City.  And everyone deserves answers, because it’s not just Rice’s personal situation and hardship, it involves everyone who has any sort of interest and connection to the Ravens and the city of Baltimore.

It involves the fan who now has to take ridicule from opposing fans.  It involves the parents who have to explain why their son or daughter can’t wear his or her number-27 jersey to school.  It involves the guy who has to watch an accused wife-beater run the ball for the team he loves.

The Ravens’ choice to do it this way was arrogant; and when it comes to this type of rhetorical strategy, not everyone is fooled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ravens’ offensive coordinator search could pick up at Senior Bowl

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Ravens’ offensive coordinator search could pick up at Senior Bowl

Posted on 18 January 2014 by Luke Jones

The Ravens have largely kept the outside world in the dark in regards to their ongoing search for a new offensive coordinator, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy trying to find Jim Caldwell’s replacement.

Despite former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan being the only known candidate to already interview for the job — wide receivers coach Jim Hostler will also interview at some point — the sense offered from the Ravens is that they’ve already spoken to several candidates about the position. On Friday, head coach John Harbaugh flew to Ohio for the funeral of his grandfather, Joe Cipiti, but the interview process could pick up next week if a hire isn’t made over the weekend.

As the front office and coaching staff travels to Mobile, Ala. for the Senior Bowl, the main focus will be evaluating a talented batch of NFL draft prospects, but the Ravens could also conduct more interviews there.

“That, historically, is like a coaching convention,” senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne said to the team’s official site on Thursday. “Everybody who has a job or wants to have a job in the NFL goes to the Senior Bowl. If John continues [interviewing] into next week, it might be easier even.”

The Ravens appear to be in no rush to fill the position as they understand a high-profile job with one of the best organizations in the NFL is coveted by many assistants around the league. Despite finishing 29th in total offense last season, Baltimore has a 29-year-old franchise quarterback locked into a long-term contract and a reputation as a place where assistants have been able to thrive and eventually secure head-coaching opportunities of their own.

High-profile names such as former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and former Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski are out there, but the Ravens appear willing to at least explore the possibility of a young up-and-coming candidate such as the 34-year-old Shanahan or former Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, who was reportedly on the Ravens’ list of candidates to interview before he accepted the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator job earlier in the week.

Harbaugh isn’t necessarily looking for the biggest name as much as he seeks the right one for the job of breathing new life into an offensive attack that struggled mightily in 2013.

“We will have a coach that best fits what we want to be, where we want to go, and understands what Ravens football is all about,” Harbaugh said in a team statement following Caldwell’s departure. “I have a profile in mind, and we are excited about the coaches who have shown interest in the job.”

In addition to their offensive coordinator position, the Ravens have openings at running backs coach, quarterbacks coach, and secondary coach to fill.

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Art Modell on the life of Art Modell – celebrating his amazing life all weekend at WNST.net

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Art Modell on the life of Art Modell – celebrating his amazing life all weekend at WNST.net

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ve been reading a lot about the life and times of Art Modell over the last 24 hours. Obviously, my heart has been heavy with the loss of his charm, humor and kindness not only for my selfish emotions but for everyone who ever loved Mr. Modell. I’ll never forget seeing the raw emotions of Ray Lewis, Ozzie Newsome, Kevin Byrne and John Harbaugh yesterday in Owings Mills.

Today and all weekend at WNST.net & AM 1570 we will be presenting what I feel is the finest radio interview of my career – a long-winded, emotional, retrospective of the life and times of Arthur B. Modell, told in his own words.

In 2004, just after I retired from hosting a daily show after 13 years of grinding out quality sports talk radio, I decided to do a series of “sit downs” – I called them “Barbara Walters-style interviews” – with many Baltimore sports legends. Art Donovan, Cal Ripken, Phil Savage, Brian Billick, Marvin Lewis, Pam Shriver, Lenny Moore, Bob Ehrlich and several others were kind enough to participate in a series of monthly chats I did to shed light on their careers and how they came to enter their chosen field of work.

Every conversation was personal and memorable but nothing like my time with Art Modell.

I joined Art Modell at his office at M&T Bank Stadium in the spring of 2004 and wound up taking the better part of two mornings to get all of the questions answered.

I haven’t even listened to these yet myself to know exactly all of the ground we covered. I do remember him saying at the end, “You have enough there for a book. No one has ever asked me that many questions before!”

I remember him being emotional several times when I asked about his father. I remember him being a little upset at some of the line of questioning. I remember him being incredibly thoughtful and patient as I probed some memories that he was mostly uncomfortable sharing with me.

But I think we both brought our “A games” with us those two days as we chatted about his entire life and the many people who affected him and shaped his world. How he met soap opera actress Patricia Breslin and married her and adopted her two young sons, David and John. Tales of Jim Brown, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Ozzie Newsome, Ray Lewis, Lou Groza, Cleveland, the Browns, Bernie Kosar, Bill Belichick, Pete Rozelle – there’s a lot of meat in this conversation.

This will take some time – there’s about 3 hours worth of chatter here, most of it dominated by Art telling the best stories of his life.

The last question I asked him was stolen from Jim Lipton (and Bernard Pivot):

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Art Modell deadpanned: “First and long…”

There’s a lot of humor in this conversation as well because that was Art’s Way.

We’ll be playing this interview all weekend on WNST-AM 1570. You can listen in your car or you can click below to take with you wherever you go.

I hope you enjoy the chat. And, quite frankly, I hope it’s as good as I remember it being.

Here are the links via WNST.net and our Buy A Toyota audio vault:

Part 1 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 2 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 3 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 4 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 5 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 6 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 7 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 8 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

Part 9 of my WNST.net sitdown with Art Modell

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