Every time a new inductee to the Ravens Ring of Honor is named it’s like nicking off an elbow scab – again!
Because inevitably the topic of Earnest Byner surfaces and his ridiculous inclusion in the ROH.
Ask casual football fans to talk about former Raven Earnest Byner and they’ll sound like that GEICO owl.
Those who remember Byner remember him as a Redskin or as the guy who fumbled for the Browns. They easily forget his pedestrian two seasons, 947 yards, 4TD’s and 3.9 yards per carry while donning the purple and black. Even Errict Rhett (remember him?) had more career yards as a Raven (1,032) during his two campaigns in Baltimore.
So when your standard is so low, it’s hard to deny fine players like Todd Heap, Michael McCrary, Peter Boulware and Jamal Lewis.
And if you ask me, none of those players belong in the ROH.
The ROH should represent players who have Hall of Fame potential, players whose numbers you would consider retiring. Not one of the aforementioned players will ever sniff the hallowed halls in Canton, Ohio unless they buy a ticket.
This isn’t meant to dismiss the accomplishments of these solid retired Ravens (Byner excluded, although he was a very good pro before his arrival in Baltimore).
But if we set the bar so low, in 15 years there will be so many plaques spread across the M&T Bank Stadium façade that they’ll need a new façade or be forced to make the plaques smaller and they certainly won’t be able to double up on each name the way they do now.
There should currently be only four names (and no the Baltimore Colts don’t belong there either) in the ROH: Art Modell, Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis and Matt Stover.
I understand my colleague Andrew Stetka’s argument for Brian Billick’s inclusion but he wouldn’t be in my ROH either. He was a solid but inconsistent coach who at times fueled the asylum instead of managing it and his failure to win a single playoff game between 2002 and 2007 with THAT defense is inexcusable.
Now if you’ll excuse ME, I need to hit the first aid kit.
My elbow is killing me.