The level-headed and always-classy Bart Scott
Some credit to the Four-Letter Word this morning. ESPN.com's Mike Sando posted an insightful compilation of Ravens quotes following last night's stunningly thrilling Monday Night Football showdown between Baltimore and New England. What insight does said compilation offer, you might ask? It's quite simple:
The Baltimore Ravens organization has created and nurtured a culture of whinyness, scapegoating and not taking accountability for your on-the-field performance and actions.
It takes half a second to scan Sando's post and see how the Ravens didn't wait more than 10 minutes after the fourth quarter clock read 0:00 to start unloading their sorrows on the referees. Nevermind their own idiotic propensity to take obvious penalties all game (not just in the fourth), or their secondary deciding to take the last 10 minutes of the game off, or any other reason that they gagged away a golden opportunity to knock off the NFL's evil empire. Don't pay any attention to any of that, the Ravens players say, it was the refs! They're on the take!
"I felt like we played our hearts out tonight and got some bogus calls, but it is what it is... Pass interference, the holding on [Jamaine] Winborne. There was a lot. I can't even remember them all."
--Baltimore RB Willis McGahee
Err, Willis, did you actually watch the call on Winborne? He basically tackled Ben Watson. That is in clear violation of the agreed-upon rules. You can't expect situational calling just because you're at home on the verge of the upset of the year; not even to mention suggesting to the media that the refs were "bogus" when they made the obvious textbook call on the play? What about Derrick Mason more or less trying to put Asante Samuel in a sleeper-hold on the last play? No call there, and it nearly won you the game!
But, of course, the Ravens' bitching didn't stop there. Oh, no, they had to go so far as to suggest that the timeout on the 4th-and-1 play the Ravens' D had seemingly stopped was a machination of underhanded officiating...
"I didn't hear a timeout. That was very convenient."
--Baltimore LB Bart Scott
You're just fucking with us, right, dude? The video monitors clearly showed Rex Ryan calling the timeout from the Ravens' sideline before the snap. Clearly!
So nevermind your Trojan-Enz Boner of the Year for getting back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct calls (isn't that an automatic ejection?) on the game's most important play for throwing the ref's flag into the stands, because the refs called the timeout and not your coaches, right, Bart? Simply astounding.
This is an attitude that starts with Brian Billick, filters down through his assistants and gets permanently imprinted on his players' psyches. No other team in the NFL comports themselves--on such a complete,full-team level--in this manner after even the toughest loss. If Baltimore ever wants to get back to an elite level (which, I'm sorry to say, they were not in 2006, regardless of their regular season record), they need to jettison the head coach that lets 53 grown men act like a bunch of children.
...as a Browns fan, I hope they don't. Ever.