Recently we caught up with our favorite former Ravens’ head coach who apparently would rather burn out than fade away…and we’re happy to hear it.
Tony Lombardi: Brian for someone who regularly took shots at the media, I find it interesting that you have decided to buy into a local radio station. What were the compelling reasons to take on such a venture?
Brian Billick: Well the first thing you need to understand is that my investment in WNST is more than just me throwing money at a station that has a signal just north of a piece of rope and two tin cans and a studio that looks like a frat house. What rational human being, particularly one with my level of intelligence and expertise would do that if there wasn’t a host of more forward looking thought processes involved?
I am buying into the future of radio. Radio as we know it today is a rapidly dying industry and its future will parallel that of the world wide web. You should know that as well as anyone given the direction of 24×7.
TL: Coach I do find the pairing of you and WNST’s owner somewhat comical. Let’s face it, you are hardly a subservient employee and Nestor Aparicio has never been one to be shy about reminding everyone that he’s in charge. On the surface this marriage has a shelf life somewhere between that of Yoko Ono/Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson/Kid Rock.
BB: Hey did you know that Nestor is friends with Pam, Kid and even McCartney. I even heard that the late great Jim McKay was a big fan of Nestor’s. And have you ever read about all of the rock bands he covered as a teenager? Look Lombardi, you have to give the guy credit for being a go-getter.
TL: I think Nestor’s professional achievements are certainly noteworthy and he’s a great example of what hard work, dedication and a little talent can do for you. I just wish he didn’t have to remind us every time his signal is operating and his microphone is plugged in. That said he is one of the best self-promoters I’ve ever met and he’s great at keeping his name in the public eye with cheap publicity stunts like Free the Bird and See the Bird. But he certainly didn’t like getting his frosty tips wet when the O’s nailed him with Soaked by the Bird.
BB: You don’t like my partner do you?
TL: I really don’t care one way or the other. In fact I get a kick out of watching him spin things that didn’t work out and then pawn off his mistakes on someone or something else. Take the Free the Bird thing again. We were forced to listen to hours upon hours of his babbling about how WNST was born because of his passion for the Orioles and his love for his Dad. Ok, nice story. But did we have to hear about his alleged prowess with women or his little league accomplishments and who cares if Geddy Lee is on his speed dial? Did he really think that his senseless hours of whining would exact change in the Orioles’ ownership? Thankfully he’s on radio and I can change the station although that said, it would have been much nicer just to listen to Drew Forrester, Bob Haynie or Rob Long than all that self-indulgent Moon. I can’t even listen to Walking on the Moon by The Police anymore.
Recently I read his blog after once again looking to see if the overdue new WNST.net had launched. He went on about how a follow up to Free the Bird should take place but he no longer has the time and he prefers to be happy during the Ravens’ season. He then suggests that Channel 13 or CBS Radio or The Sun or The Examiner or PressBox should organize a walkout.
Here’s a clue for your partner coach, those folks realized long ago what a joke Free the Bird was/is. And maybe, just maybe he finally realized it too but doesn’t have the stones to admit the mistake. You know, kind of like you with the Ravens offense.
BB: Whoa, who whizzed in your Wheaties? Oh and by the way, I saw in a recent blog of yours that you called me a fraud. A fraud?
TL: I stand by it coach. Look when you took this team over, you brought integrity and leadership to the sidelines. We also thought you brought an offense but you proved us wrong. I lauded you for your handling of players and your organizational skills. I admired the way you took bullet after bullet for the organization when the team struggled. But in the end, you were exposed as a head coach who really doesn’t possess the alleged offensive acumen that you supposedly arrived here with. For years you rode the coat tails of a great defense and because you could produce no offense, they will never approach their deserved greatness in history because your offense provided so little support. And I wonder if the city of
By definition a fraud is an imposter: a person who makes deceitful pretenses. I think that you helped foster the “offensive guru” tag and I also believe that you never wanted to bring in an offensive mind that might expose yours. So in that regard, you were a fraud.
But it worked for you Brian and you have 15 million reasons to prove just how true that is.
So with that said, do you still have your eyes set on that
BB: You know I love to teach and to me coaching is teaching. There’s nothing like taking a young player with raw talent and developing that talent in a way that aligns skill and preparedness which then manifests itself as productivity on the field. You can keep the money – that right there is the reward.
TL: Can you give us an example of when and where that happened coach?
BB: Well of course, there’s Adalius…er, no there was Bart…I mean take Kelly Gregg…wait let me think…offense…offense. How about
TL: Well why did several former Ravens’ offensive players have more success when they left
BB: Name one.
TL: Well you’ve already mentioned Chester Taylor. How about Derek Anderson? Brandon Stokely? Priest Holmes? Casey Rabach? Even Jamal Lewis played much better as a Brown last year than he would have as a member of the Ravens in ’07.
BB: That’s it? I thought it would be worse. But hey, have you ever thought that maybe just maybe our scouting department and personnel folks just didn’t provide us with the requisite offensive talent?
TL: I have.
TL: And I think the jury is still out. I’d like to see what Cam Cameron does with many of the same players who were at your disposal.
BB: Hey how is Kyle doing?
TL: Torn labrum…done for season and probably as a Raven.
BB: Really? Damn he must really miss those Friday evening rub downs. But you know what? I see a reunion with my boy in ’09 out there at Candlestick.
TL: Why doesn’t that surprise me.
BB: The kid just needs a break Tony.