MEET AN AFC TEAM THAT WAS AFC THROUGH AND PAINFULLY THROUGH -- History of the Superbowl Part 31

2000

Brian Billick was a GREAT COACH.

Believe it.

This guy was cool.

Billick understands EVERYTHING.

Fuckin' EVERYTHING.

Billick was Dennis Green's assistant at Stanford and Northwestern, places where the non-football life are SO FREAKING IMPORTANT. 

If these kids can't function in class WELL, not just go and not just pass, but get a 3.0...you're not doing your job.

To deal with Stanford and Northwestern kids is the idea environment for someone who becomes an AFC coach.

You're a freaking parent.

And thus you gotta like the idea of...leading a family.

Marvin Lewis gets all kinds of credit for building the Baltimore Ravens defense that wins the Superbowl this year.

Know why?

Because Billick told reporters to talk to him.

Take that Ditka.

Billick is always ready to admit that his thing isn't particular football strategy. He is the guy you bring in when you got a team of fuck-ups.

These are the most gifted kinds of coaches who win with guys like this.

John Madden.

Phil Jackson.

These two coaches are RARE.

Well Billick and Dan Reeves were pretty much as close as this goes.

Bill Parcells wouldn't be able to thrive if Keyshawn Johnson wasn't willing to conform. Parcells is a teacher and a coach, but he's not the kind of guy that's going to buy YOUR bag of bullshit.

These guys will, for it becomes unique when the proper coach is at the healm.

Such as Billick.

Tom Coughlin would have completely taken the flavor out of Ray Lewis and Shannon Sharpe for instance.

We'll get to them.

But first let's demonstrate Billick's brain.

He's a wise dude.

Let's explore why!

---------------------------------

The Baltimore Ravens, only five years before, had been the Cleveland Browns for a very very long time. 

They are in fact one of the NFL's proudest franchises...before Modell.

7 NFL championships within a span of about 20 years before Modell in 1961...jack dickery since. 

The fun part was that Modell is the absolute extreme of the AFC spectrum.

This, my friend, was part of the Manson dynamic.

We spoke about how hippyish the AFC can be...well the sixties also had the Sharon Tate murders for conservatives to point to as a reason hippies are really serial killers trying to calm themselves down.

Modell was even more of a shark then even Jerry Jones or Debaratalo, that's what you get out of the Manson dynamic...a hippy worse then Ronald Reagen could EVER be.

Modell would be the screenplay contest man.

His paid editing service -- the Stadium Co.

For Modell was one of the first people to realize that the stadium boxes would be ideal to build a hotel around, that all that space going to parties would make Cleveland Stadium like the Hilton. 

Modell would use Cleveland Stadium for every reason in the world except winning games.

He would even be the landlord of the Cleveland Indians and many prevalent rock stars doing their concerts for the stadium fans, the headliners of these sports and entertainment acts happily using the suite hotels for whores and coke and such. 

Modell thus has something the Cleveland Indians actually like...so he can double-fuck them while he's messing with the Browns.

It would prove to be the case, as the Indians spend twenty years watching one rock concert after another go by without any remodeling afforded their clubhouse.

Cleveland Stadium would never be fixed up after one of these events.

Oh that's nothing.

Jacobs Field comes along in 1995 with city tax dollars...and Art Modell doesn't lower the prices on the suites even though nobody's using them.

Why?

Because THIS will be how he convinces the owners he's got to move to Baltimore.

The revenue generated from these boxes are MORE then the revenue from 50,000 slobs and you and my aunt.

Georgia Frontiere was able to entice the NFL with revenue from these boxes in order to let her move to St. Louis. This was how it happened.

He gets the move for NFL owners understand this form of plight, and so he goes to Baltimore.

Now...

Brian Billick around this time had been the number one candidate of the new team implanted in Cleveland to take over the Browns history and logo.

Brian Billick instead...before going to the interview...gets one with Baltimore. 

Brian Billick knows better then to do what even people in Baltimore were doing...getting mad at Art Modell.

For Billick knew that in the wake of Modell trying to prove the innocent people guilty...will give him an actual COMPETENT TEAM TO WORK WITH.

He's been keeping track, or at least dealing with people keeping track.

Sure enough he goes to Baltimore and there's Ray fucking Lewis from the Miami Hurricanes.

In the 90s, the Hurricanes were known for their defense stars like they had been known for offense in the 80s.

Ray Lewis was in need of a backer. 

Someone to ignore the shit he was involved in and simply acknowledge that he was a bad ass.

Lewis had been involved in a dealio the weekend of the Broncos-Falcons Superbowl.

Hanging out with some friends in a club, one of them ends up fucking killing this dude.

Lewis...looked right in the family of the victim's eyes and said he didn't see shit.

And that was the story.

Now before we get mad at Lewis, keep in mind that you can't go telling what you see unless you actually saw something.

How likely is it, in the dark when everyone's wearing black, you're going to actually see a guy pull a knife on someone?

You'll catch the guy falling down hurt and bleeding, but not how it happened.

And all you did to miss this...was reach for your keys for a second.

See?

Lewis, ninety-nine percent likely, DIDN'T see it.

He can know the guy killed him all you want...he DIDN'T SEE IT.

Thus he can't truly know.

It's almost as if he would have been committing perjury had he fessed up.

Yet this is why Ray Lewis has a stigma around the NFL.

It's a continuous distraction for their team, even today. I don't care if it's a top story or not.

If Karl Malone is going to be uneasy around playing basketball with an HIV patient...why wouldn't there be young Ravens uneasy to actually sit in a lockerroom with a guy whose friends will kill you? 

Yet Brian Billick knew that this went with the territory. It was fun -- guys getting in controversies.

Billick had a brain. Xs and Os are boring. He could have gotten this anywhere. He CRAVED a controversial family to counsel and help because that's the kind of guy Dennis Green had taught him to be.

You get to really use your intelligence as a writer when you go and coach felons.

To get a sense of belonging and trust from guys like this is precisely what Peter Parker achieved from the Marvel Alliance.

Brian Billick knew that to be Peter Parker in the NFL...was COOL.

Billick would fine Tony Siragusa for mentioning "Superbowl" and "playoffs".

You weren't allowed to do that.

This was their swear jar, and he was fucking serious about it.

Billick was essentially a dude who would understand that you got in a fight...but if the fucking Bears start fucking up when you walk into the room...you gotta wait outside until they start doing good again.

This is the kind of dad that fuck-ups wish for.

I had a dad who was cool like that. 

I was scared of him and you had to watch yourself with him, but he's the one who always said that a good script or a good book will find its' audience no matter how fucked up bureaucracy can seem to be.

So Baltimore is never touched.

They're done early in the season, but they win seven straight simply off their defense.

The Ravens defense, with Billick and Lewis at the healm, will be compared all day long to the 85 Bears and not one of us would laugh.

They had the coolest nickname ever --

Ready for this?

The "THEATRE OF PAIN".

Wow.

The Ravens after all are based on Baltimore native Edgar Allen Poe, quoth the raven...right? He wrote plays! This worked out nice. 

--------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile the Va-Giants were sucking.

What else is new?

Yet their coach Jim Fassell would ooohh...raise the stakes!!!! Ooooh, everybody who doesn't want in, get out now...we're gonna make the playoffs...

MAAAAAAAAN. Make the playoffs, Giants. Do it. Make the playoffs. Fuck you.

I promise you...that in 5 years...this office will have a fax machine. 

???????!?!!!!!!!!FASSELL YOU SUCK.

They make the playoffs and they even make the Superbowl with seriously the weakest team I've ever seen.

I don't know how the Giants did it then, or now.

Strahan's so SMALL.

Michael Barlow from Miami was YOUNG.

Plaxico Burress is really good, and that year he'd have Kerry Collins throwing.

Somehow a team of Minnesota Vikings that had KILLED New Orleans the week before...go down 41-0 to the Va-Giants in the first half of the NFC title game.

Minnesota loses in Giants Stadium, and the Giants go on.

The Ravens and Giants each start the season at like 4-4, 4-5, and finish 12-4, 11-5.

The Ravens host Denver -- destroy 'em.

Then Billick LEADS THE CHARGE and says we're going to KICK THE DOOR DOWN like a "friggin banshee".

They destroy the Titans at home, and then go to Oakland and beat the Raiders the same way.

Neither team scores a touchdown until garbage minutes deep in the fourth.

The Ravens SHUT DOWN these cats.

This defense would play flawlessly for the entire second half of the season, well into the playoffs and Superbowl.

They were still looking for people to beat up WHILE recieving the trophy, as the Giant offense would crumble. 

Shannon Sharpe would tell all the reporters to kiss his ass if all they're gonna do is talk about Ray Lewis.

Lewis wins the MVP for the season AND the Superbowl, but the one in the commercials is quarterback Trent Dilfer who did a great job of handing off and taking the snap from center, two things that actually deserve alot of praise now that it's been discovered that Tebow can do everything BUT THESE THINGS AND THUS MAY NOT GET DRAFTED TIL FAR ON DOWN. 

And Art Modell got his first title ever.

Look at the tears.

Not on Modell, of the Ravens fans by 2009...

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