The retirement of a legendary player like Haloti Ngata would be enough news to cover almost any day on the calendar. However, Ravens owner, Steve Bisciotti, one-upped Ngata’s announcement with an announcement of his own. Bisciotti wanted to put Haloti Ngata, the nine-year dominant starter on Baltimore’s defensive line, into the team’s Ring of Honor. But Bisciotti explained that Ngata would have to wait until next year in 2020 to receive the honor. That is because the franchise’s second head coach, and first Super Bowl winner, Brian Billick, will be enshrined in the Ravens Ring of Honor this year.
This announcement is long overdue. It’s been two years since I wrote my argument in favor of honoring Billick in the Ring of Honor. Like my writing skills, the idea has matured in Baltimore, and Bisciotti knew that it was finally time to give Billick what he deserved.
Billick was relieved of his duties after the disastrous 2007 season. Disfunction yielded a losing record, and Baltimore was embarrassed by the product the organization put on the field. But Billick cannot be remembered for the failure that was 2007. The culture he installed in Baltimore, by turning a franchise in its infancy into a top competitor and Super Bowl winner is the most important facet on his Ravens résumé. Regardless of how his stint ended, he is still a key part of this franchise’s history, and it’s culture of success.
Both Billick and Ngata deserve to be in the Ring of Honor without any semblance of doubt. Billick’s contribution to the franchise came as a coach, and although Ngata was a player, one could argue he served as a coach as well. Throughout his time in Baltimore, Ngata was an asset to the young players looking to learn. He simultaneously put on a show for the fans, while showing the youngsters behind him the ropes. He was a professional that put the needs of the community before himself too, and to this day contributes to charitable campaigns.
Brian Billick and Haloti Ngata will fit right in the Ring of Honor.