Friday, December 14, 2007

Brian Billick: Star-studded big money coach

For some reason, I used to watch Match Game a lot back in its Seventies heyday. It's not like I was the only one of course, the show was insanely popular. So popular there was actually both a daytime AND a primetime version of the show. The nighttime version was known as Match Game PM and the announcer, Johnny Olsen, would introduce it as “the star-studded, big money Match Game”. That always cracked me up since the “stars” were the likes of Bret Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly (who I loved, don’t get me wrong, but c’mon), and the “big money” ran into the hundreds of dollars. Compare that to a certain $100,000 pyramid on another network!

Alright so what does this have to do with football? Well it just so happens that a 1977 episode of Match Game PM featured as a contestant one Brian Harold Billick, now the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. At the time of his Match Game fame, Billick had just ended his attempt to play pro ball and took a job as a coach at his old high school. The best part of the whole thing (if Wikipedia is to be belived) is that Billick got crushed by whoever he played and Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson made fun of him! Rayburn said, "Boy, I hope you signed that contract already. They might think twice after seeing this performance" and Dawson followed up with this: "Failed at football. Failed at Match Game. Where will you go now?.” Classic. Hopefully, Billick will lose as embarrassingly this week as he did back in 1977. Hey Billick, remember this?

1 comment:

Mike said...

WOW! That is freaking unbeliveable! But Billick has the last laugh. I mean, the guy won a superbowl, and Richard Dawson hosted a game show. Oh, and appeared alongside Schwarzeneggar in that classic "The Running Man". Who could orget "Killian, I'll be back." "Only in a rerun."