[Originally posted Oct. 17, 2006]
With the firing today of Jim Fassel, the door is now open for me to step into my dream job. Most sports fanatics would probably covet the Head Coach position — but not me. Coach Billick you have nothing to fear from bringing me onto your staff. I don’t need to be in the limelight under the glare of the media scrutiny. I don’t need my ego stroked by all of the public attention. I simply want to devote my analytical skills to finally bringing some offensive creativity and scoring productivity to a starved Ravens franchise that has frustrated its defensive stalwarts and its longsuffering fans. Coach Billick, I implore you — don’t try to go it alone. You have not been successful with your hand-picked assistants — whether Cavanaugh or Fassel. You need to step back from the offense, not take over control. You need to review my credentials and save your job by entrusting me with the keys to the offense. This may be your last chance to save your career here in Baltimore.
APPLICATION OF PAUL G. APPLE FOR POSITION OF RAVENS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
– Sports Editor at Lower Merion High School — the school that produced Kobe Bryant. So I come from a good pedigree. I know how to deal with today’s prima donna personalities. I will stand up to the complaining veterans like Jamal Lewis and not keep turning my back on the upcoming talent (like Priest Holmes and Chester Taylor). I have been analyzing games since the ninth grade — breaking down film on my living room couch and studying the X’s and O’s (and many other letters of the alphabet — in Latin and Greek and Hebrew as well).
– English major at Princeton University. The Ravens coaching ranks would be greatly enhanced by adding an Ivy League scholar who excels in all forms of written and oral communication. What good is it if a coach has a brilliant offensive scheme but he is unable to get his message across to the sophisticated athletes of today? I am an educator at heart with the patience to constantly reinforce the key lessons we need:
– Master of Divinity from Grace Theological Seminary. The front office keeps reiterating that we are all about putting men of character on the field. Well I feel I could bring a lot to the table in that regard. I have already counseled Coach Billick on the need to integrate a strong dose of humility into his leadership model — and that was way before he got dressed down by the owner at the end of last season. Hopefully that bit of prophetic insight will have gained me a measure of credibility. My discipline of diagramming the Greek syntax of various books of the NT directly parallels the type of play diagramming that I have seen on John Madden’s NFL EDA sports game. I would introduce a zero tolerance swearing policy on the sidelines that would be greatly appreciated by Coach Billick’s Mom.
– Representing Caterpillar products for the past 25 years here in Baltimore has ingrained the same brand identity that the Ravens desire for their offense: strength, toughness, durability, quality, leadership, etc. It would not be much of a stretch to have a blood transfusion from Caterpillar yellow to Ravens purple. Our team would love to take on a bulldozer mentality and push down the field with a powerful running game. I can see the image now: eleven D9 dozers working in concert to obliterate the opposition.
– My marketing responsibilities focus on long term strategic planning and the tactical execution of a wide range of hard-hitting campaigns. (Reference my ForgetAboutBob website that demonstrates that I am not above hitting below the belt when it comes to attacking the competition.)
– In eighth grade I went out for the team for one day and experienced the futility of throwing my scrawny little body against the immoveable blocking sled. I quickly wised up and returned to the pitch and catch version of touch football where my speed and elusiveness enabled me to excel. I can remember still making diving catches at the age of 30 on a snow-covered field in Towson. My hamstrings are shot now — but you can tell I am a legitimate athlete because the same surgeon that repaired Johnny Unitas’ two knees performed the reconstruction of my torn ACL — you can’t beat that for Hall-of-Fame connectivity.
– I have been writing blogs on every Ravens game for the past several years. I really should have been granted press credentials . . . but somebody slipped up in my application process. You can review my previous game commentary to validate my insight and familiarity with the program. Yes, it was I that kept clamoring for investing in offensive linemen. It was I that kept insisting that Clarence Moore could not perform in prime time. It was I that kept questioning the faith of Billick in his disappointing string of failed quarterbacks.
– You can check with any of my three sisters or my four children. They will all attest to my commentary skills — as we watch the games together I will consistently be quick to point out some facet of the game before the TV color men catches on. At times it is downright spooky … almost like my living room is miked and my insights are being pilfered.
– Because of church commitments, I am not available to come out to the field on Sundays. I hope that won’t be a problem. My preparation during the week should be sufficient to equip the team with all it needs to be successful. I can call the plays from my couch via cell phone — there should be no need for me to be physically present. That way I can work behind the scenes making it look like Coach Billick is really in charge. I don’t want any of the glory …. just my six figure salary (a bargain considering what you were wasting on Fassel) and the satisfaction of getting our offense on track.