Transcript of 9-9-08 Deezies press conference
(joined in progress; DEEZIES SPORTS LIMITED PRESIDENT AND CCO CARSON L. RIZOR is at the podium)
CR: Good evening, Ann Arbor. I want to start tonight by saying to the citizens of this great city, I'm sorry.
To all of you who have believed in what we've been doing here since 2003, to all of you who have believed in me and my leadership, to all of you who have stuck with the Deezies through very difficult times, to all of you who've prayed for me, I'm sorry.
For the embarrassment and disappointment the events of the past few days have caused you; for what you, as loyal Deezies fans, many of you, have had to hear as you traveled around the city to beauty shops and barber shops; for what you had to hear when you were in church this past Sunday; from people who know that you have supported me; to those of you who have not always been my supporters but who lift up our team, who come to our games, who support this team in various ways, I truly apologize to each and every one of you individually and to the whole city.
As many of you know, I am not the type of person who displays his emotions in public. But I have to tell you I've felt more emotion in the last week than I have in the last 20 years. I've been truly hurting. I've been hurting because I know that many of you are hurting. And most of all, I've been hurting because I know my team is hurting. And I'm responsible for that.
Over the past few days, there has been some speculation about who is in charge of this organization. Make no mistake about it. Since 2003, *I* have been in charge of the Deezies fa Sheezies.
There have been ups and downs, there have been hills and mountains and valleys, but through it all, I have remained in charge of the Deezies. I believe we built a team here that understands the mission and focus and the commitment that we must have to serve our fans. We've done some amazing things, but we have a lot of work left to do.
Over the past few days, there has also been a lot of speculation about our search for a head coach, and even nastier rumors that we would be selling the team, and giving up on the season. Let me be clear tonight, I would never quit on you, ever. We got a lot of work to do, and with your help I'm going to continue to lead this team in getting the work done.
This has been a very difficult time for our team and our organization. We lost not one, but two head coaches in less than a year.
Because there are still legal matters pending at this moment, unfortunately, I am unable to discuss any of those issues at this time. But I do have some personal words I want to share with you tonight.
Jimmy, I am sorry for not recognizing the difficulty of the situation that you were in. I never meant to re-awaken your old demons. You will always be a Deezie, and we will make sure that you continue to get the help that you deserve.
I am the president, I made the mistake, I am accountable.
We have committed to moving forward together, to make our organization better and stronger. Last week was the first weekend since we began this franchise in August 2003 that I just put everything aside and focused only on finding a head coach.
I know people have been wanting to hear from me, but I needed to do that first. I want to thank the people of Ann Arbor for their patience in allowing me to have that time. We as an organization needed to do that. I told my staff this past weekend that when you make a mistake, you learn from it, you get up, you dust yourself off, and you keep moving forward.
In the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, the Deezies together, we have managed to do great things. We have won more games than ever, we have sold more tickets than ever. We have balanced our budget and wiped out a multi-million dollar deficit.
We have made it to two championship games in football, we have a regular season championship trophy, and earlier this year, our very own hockey team, the Newport Deezies, brought home the Seattle Gives LA Hickey title. We are building out our legacy, and we are not stopping now.
Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County... please continue to pray for our teams, for our organization and for our continued progress.
God bless you, Ann Arbor. I love you, and I'll see you at the game on Sunday.
I'll open the floor to questions. You, in the front.
R1: TV's Eric Ingles, Fox 30 in Jacksonville... could you explain how Jimmy Smith was allegedly "coaching" a fake fantasy football team when he's been in Jacksonville for the last decade?
CR: Jimmy's been pulled in a number of directions over the past few months, as we all have. As C-Deezy's right-hand man on the sidelines, he was a natural to tap as a replacement, and he had done so on previous occasions. That said, I didn't take into account the deep effect that C-Deezy's sudden disappearance had on him, and I take full responsibility for that.
R1: That's not what I...
CR: (cutting him off) Next question. Go ahead.
R2: Dave Swift with the Ann Arbor Courier... do you have any comment on the ongoing racketeering trial of LaRon "Bookie" Williams or on the possibility that he may have had something to do with Coach Deezy's disappearance?
CR: No, no, I don't really have any comment on that. Obviously, we all miss C-Deezy and hope that, if he was a victim of foul play, that any and everyone involved will be brought to justice. But Mr. Williams is entitled to due process and, unless you know something that I don't, he has not been formally charged in connection with C-Deezy's disappearance. (pointing) You, you're next.
R3: Lamarr Saunders, Y!SN News. I know you weren't at the game on Sunday, but the Deezies had a lot of trouble moving the ball downfield, so why would you cut a guy who had a 72-yard reception?
CR: Every time he's talked to you guys, Tony has openly expressed his uncertainty about his role on our team. Today, we decided to make his role crystal clear. Next question.
R2: What can you tell us about Anthony Fasano?
CR: Last year, Commissioner Townsend said he'd be the next Antonio Gates. We're just hoping he isn't the next Visanthe Shiancoe.
CR: Exactly. Next question.
R1: Aren't you confusing Fasano with David Martin?
CR: Somebody's paying attention! Give that guy a gold star. (pointing) You, in the back.
R4: Yes... uh... Dave Durst, I'm with one of the hobby league sites, YourFavoriteHobbyLeague.com... We were wondering, why did you bother drafting Deuce McAllister?
CR: Someone thought having "A-Deuce" on the team would be funny. Given the current state of our team, we're no longer in a joking mood. Last question... go ahead.
R2: Can you go through the thought process that led you to name your media coordinator as a head coach?
CR: Let me back you up for a moment. Ty will not be on the sideline this Sunday. He is in charge of supervising the players while I continue the search process. It is my firm belief that we will have a new head coach before we take the field against Oh Well. As to why Stephen and Dan are no longer with the organization, that was my call. Yes, I did watch our game against the Tin Indians, and it was deeply embarrassing. We had a case of too many chiefs and not enough indians, but we still should have prevailed against an Indians team with no chief at all. That's on me. So I decided the best thing to do would be to clear house for our next head coach, let him bring in his people. (to all) I thank you for your time. I have to head out now, there's a flight waiting for me. I'll see you all on Sunday.(transcript courtesy of the Yahoo! Sports Network)