Ron Costello

Friday, January 1, 2016


That's the answer to the statement next to retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Charles H. Ramsey.

And why is Ramsey on the cover photo?

Because this blog is innovative. Get it? You read it, you know if it is or not. I can't bullshit you.

Besides, the Commish is one of my all-time favorite people.

An innovator lays his head on the block to get it chopped off. An innovator does things and doesn't worry what people think. An innovator can get from A to B and if people are in the way, either goes around them or through them.

Usually, at first, an innovator is not loved, and most people have no idea what he's doing. He get's his nose bloodied. People don't like change, it makes them uncomfortable. Especially if it comes from the first back police commissioner in Philadelphia.

Ramsey was innovative in Chicago and Washington, D. C., and rode into Philly and into a stagnant, old school police department. You think the rank and file — the thin blue line — welcomed Ramsey? Had a bash at Bookbinders to celebrate his arrival?

Thing is, Ramsey could have cared less. He was too busy getting to B.

In Chip Kelly's situation, he exacerbated the  problem by not communicating well, with the owner, the players and the media.

Then old school alumni — Westbrook, JAWs, Trotter, Dawkins, etc. — saw Kelly trying to make changes to the NFL where it's impossible to make changes. Everybody knows that.

JAWs: "I use the term big-boy football, and every few years there's a new designer who comes in who's going to revolutionize the game. Well, it hasn't happened in the 42 years that I've been around the game and I don't think it happened in the 96 years of the NFL's existence where anyone revolutionized the game."

This is typical anti-innovator stuff.

You think JAWs ever heard of Don Coryell, Sid Gilman or Bill Walsh?

The Commish heard the same thing: "Ah come on, I've seen it all, you can't change policing in Philly. New guy coming in with highfalutin ideas from, what, DC? Give me a break. Look, lock 'em up, don't let 'em out. You want to change things, keep them in longer. There you go."

Or Frank Rizzo: "When I was a cop, the Philadelphia police SWAT team had had six shotguns, now we have enough firepower to invade Cuba and win."

Now that's change!

Two innovators in their first three seasons:  Bill Belichick, 20-28, and Chuck Noll, 12-30. You think JAWs heard of them?

Chip Kelly, 26-21.

Innovators get beat up at the start. People, seeing strengths as weaknesses, stab them in the back — Kelly will be picking out knives from his back for the next year. 'Oh, wait, here's another. Uh, got that one. Let's see, what's this one say. Roseman? That's the fourth knife from him this week!'"

I'm sure the Commish still has one or two embedded. Am I right, Commissioner Ramsey?

No question Kelly brought imagination and innovation to Philly — which  hasn't won an NFL championship in 55 years — and gave the Eagles a chance to, pardon me, become an innovator in moving the ball downfield.

Lookit, here's the difference: The Commish had a boss — Mayor Michael Nutter — who didn't listen to naysayers or backstabbers and backed him.

Unfortunately, Kelly didn't. All he got was a good 'ole Philly ass whippin.'

And we sure know how to give those, don't we?

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