November 30, 2003

Critics need to get off Billick's back

What is with some of these supposed Ravens fans and all their negativity toward coach Brian Billick?

Didn't he bring this city a Super Bowl? Didn't he turn this team around from the basement of the NFL to one of the most competitive and consistent teams in the league?

Who else could take a team that was torn apart by the salary cap and motivate the youngest team in the NFL to fight for a playoff spot down to the final bell, as he did last season?

Perhaps these morons would rather see the Ravens on all the highlight films than winning a game.

Also, please remember that Chris Redman is a grown man with a million-dollar job. If he can't perform when called on, he doesn't deserve to play.

Backup quarterbacks step up to the plate regularly in the NFL and in some cases steal the starting job because they are prepared, confident and ready to show off their skills (see Tommy Maddox, Tim Rattay, Marc Bulger, etc.). Redman did not and must be held accountable.

I like smash-mouth football. I like Coach Billick, and I like our chances of winning the division this year, no matter how it's done.

Jeff Bradshaw Bel Air

Why must local fans focus on the negative?

For those new to the area, consider yourself indoctrinated into the local sports culture.

The Terps and Ravens both stage miraculous comeback victories in a 24-hour span, and what's the focus of everyone's attention Monday morning? The few thousand Ravens spectators who booed Baltimore's first-half performance and/or vacated the stadium with the Ravens trailing by 17 points with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

The 5.2 million Maryland residents who didn't actually attend Sunday's Ravens game apparently would rather criticize the character of their fellow fans (who, unlike them, spend thousands of dollars on season tickets each year, not to mention the PSLs necessary to purchase tickets) than revel in the home team's improbable victory.

These are the same people who will complain so vocally about Yankees fans taking over Camden Yards in the summer, when all it would take to prevent the annual New York invasion would be for 40,000 of us to actually purchase Orioles tickets.

This persistent negativity is vintage Baltimore, a town whose residents would rather lament the erstwhile departures of people like Trent Dilfer (a backup quarterback) and Marvin Lewis (a coach whose team is barely above .500) than celebrate its own current stars.

Fear not, Brian Billick. Someday soon you'll be considered a Baltimore sports legend. Unfortunately, you'll have to leave town before you can achieve such lofty status.

Marc Bouchard Phoenix

Ravens fans stand behind first-rate coach

Please let Coach Billick know that the majority of PSL holders stand firmly behind him.

Kyle Boller was his first real chance of fielding a top-notch quarterback prospect, and the situation is coming together.

The NFL is set up so that all teams have weaknesses to address. We are glad to have a first-rate coach and front office leading the way.

P.G. Wist Hampstead

Those who left early missed historic rally

It was a disgrace that half of the Ravens fans decided to leave early during last Sunday's game against the Seahawks.

The crowd gives a huge advantage to the home team - and the Ravens won despite seeing all those empty purple seats. It was reminiscent of going to an Orioles game.

This time, the joke is on all of you. I was able to move to down to the 10th row on the 40-yard line in the fourth quarter and experience one of the great moments in Baltimore sports history.

Scott Riekers Lancaster, Pa.

Terps showed no class after N.C. State game

I was in Raleigh, N.C., for the Maryland-N.C. State football game Nov. 22.

After a great comeback by Maryland, the game ended with an unsuccessful drive by the Wolfpack. After a hard-fought victory, the Terrapins earned a reason to celebrate. But their behavior that followed was disappointing and disgusting.

The jumping up and down on the N.C. State sideline right after the game, the taunting and chanting to the N.C. State players, the dancing on the N.C. State emblem in the end zone, and the harassing of fans turned the win into a joke.

On a day when one of the ACC's greatest players, Philip Rivers, had just lost his last home game in dramatic fashion, the Terps showed no class and no respect.

I place all the blame on the shoulders of coach Ralph Friedgen. He certainly can coach one heck of a football game, but he came up short on coaching any sportsmanship.

Lindsay Mickle Baltimore

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