City's sports psyche is tough to figure out Over the...

LETTERS

February 03, 2002

City's sports psyche is tough to figure out

Over the past several months, I've read with great puzzlement many letters to the editor critical of Ravens coach Brian Billick.

Most question his offensive imagination, eye for talent and even his actual role in last year's Super Bowl run.

While these letters disappoint me, they do not surprise me -- Baltimore has always been guilty of being overly critical of its sports heroes, then nostalgically lamenting their loss after they've finally been run out of town (see Eddie Murray, Bert Jones and Lefty Driesell). It appears that Billick may be headed for a similar fate.

What does surprise me, however, is how quickly the honeymoon, at least apparently in the eyes of many Sun readers, ended for Billick. What does it say about people who call for the dismissal of a coach who, in just three years, amasses a .625 regular-season winning percentage, goes 5-1 in the postseason and wins a Super Bowl championship -- all for a city that, before Billick's arrival, hadn't enjoyed a winning NFL season since 1977?

Does knocking an extremely successful person -- one who coaches the hometown football team, no less -- somehow make them feel better about their own miserable lives?

I'd like to get a psychologist's opinion on this, but I doubt that even a panel consisting of Sigmund Freud, Joyce Brothers and Carl Jung could figure out this town's sports psyche.

Marc Bouchard Timonium

Ravens coach Billick hardly a flash in the pan

What are the Ravens supposed to do, win the Super Bowl every year? The Ravens, under Coach Billick, went 10-6 this season and won a playoff game on the road in convincing fashion.

To do this despite a much tougher regular-season schedule, losing Jamal Lewis and Leon Searcy to injuries before the season even started and the fact that every team we played was gunning extra hard to beat us, I think the Ravens had a very successful year.

To say that Billick is a flash in the pan is absurd. Since he has been here, he turned a losing franchise around, going 8-8, 12-4 and 10-6. Not too bad, huh ?

Paul M. Novak Jr. Baltimore

Ravens fans must give coach some slack

I certainly can understand Ravens fans' dissatisfaction with Brian Billick. The only thing he's done is lead the team to its three best regular-season records, win a Super Bowl championship and register a 5-1 postseason record. After all, the Ravens had such a long and storied history of success before his arrival.

Brian Billick is not perfect, and all of his decisions may not prove to be correct, but the bottom line is he has led the team to heights previously unheard of and deserves a little more slack than some people are willing to give him.

Greg Embert Pasadena

New Memorial Stadium would be fitting tribute

As the name PSINet appears to be a thing of the past, it is time that the civic leaders of our community and especially Ravens owner Art Modell give serious consideration to the name Memorial Stadium for our football stadium.

I understand that as a businessman, Modell owes it to himself and his investors to make the best possible deal, but hasn't he already benefited greatly from his choice of Baltimore instead of Cleveland?

It would be fitting and an honor to recognize the veterans of our land and especially the men and women who are serving our great nation since Sept. 11, 2001.

Melvin A. Mazer Baltimore

Baseball in D.C. would benefit Orioles

It might sound crazy, but Washington getting a major-league baseball team could be a good thing for true Orioles fans.

Peter Angelos has been able to ignore true Orioles fans for years, as he's been able to rely on the wine and cheese crowd from Washington -- who don't much care about wins and losses, nor how the team is run.

Without his built-in financial windfall from the wannabe fans from the D.C. area, Mr. Angelos may be forced into a situation that won't let him run the organization as a personal fiefdom over which his (or his kinfolk's) opinion rules over every little detail.

With a D.C. baseball team drawing away Mr. Angelos' revenue, the Orioles will be so poor that they'll have to start carefully shepherding the talent in the team's farm system again.

The organization might even have to defer to real baseball people on personnel decisions. You know, the team might actually have to relearn the things that made the once-great Orioles organization so successful.

Commissioner Bud Selig, please put us out of our misery! Please give Washington, D.C., a major-league baseball team.

David Buttner Baltimore

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