It’s a good thing Joe Flacco is a clean-cut kid from New Jersey who probably grew up with his Dad teaching him the meaning of “respect your elders”. If not, a bunch of Baltimore football fans might have been given the finger on Sunday when the quarterback put together one of his best days as a pro in the Ravens 24-17 win over Cleveland.
As it stands this morning, a bunch of people owe Flacco an apology if nothing else. Last Sunday following his dismal outing in Cincy, the Ravens’ QB filibustered his way through the post-game press conference and ended it all by saying, “Guys have bad games. I had one today. But I’ll have a good one next week.”
A week after having the loss at Cincinnati heaped on his back, the Delaware grad rebounded to be – along with Anquan Boldin – the reason the home team won on Sunday.
“I told you so Joe” didn’t rub it in on Sunday when the media gathered around his locker, but he could have.
If nothing else, it’s merely another reminder that things sure do change quickly in the NFL. One week, you’re the hero. The next week….you’re the goat. And vice versa.
And things always change quickly in Baltimore, where the football fans tend to forget about what happened on the last series, let alone last quarter or last week.
Hell, a bunch of drunk goofs actually booed Flacco and the offense after a 3-and-out to start Sunday’s game vs. the Browns.
How’s that for over-reacting?
I’d say “only in Baltimore”, but that might not be true. Fans everywhere drink too much booze and then lose track of their common sense.
All last week, Flacco was the hot topic on sports talk radio and the internet, as some folks in town actually clamored for his benching in place of back-up Marc Bulger.
Flacco told the media last week that he hadn’t really heard any of the backlash or anti-Flacco talk, but you surely wouldn’t have blamed him for flipping the fans the bird (by accident, of course) after his 3rd TD to Boldin on Sunday. Those same people who had given up on him 7 days prior were now dancing in the aisles at M&T Bank Stadium.
It’s going to be like that all season, I suppose. Because the Ravens actually have a qualified back-up in Bulger, the fans will put Flacco on the firing line every Sunday. Win — and he’s good for another week. Lose — and most people will say “time for Bulger”. If Baltimore goes to Pittsburgh and lays an egg this Sunday, next week will be filled with more anti-Flacco calls and e-mails. In fact, the ONLY way Flacco can justify his role as the team’s annointed and can’t-be-replaced starting quarterback is by winning the Super Bowl. Anything less, I suppose, won’t be good enough.
A lot of this anti-Flacco sentiment can be traced back to the days of Kyle Boller when thousands and thousands of people in Baltimore proclaimed the California Kid to be a bum from day one. You see, that’s when we all sort of became quarterback experts in town. We watched Boller play that first season (2003) and we all said, “Holy cow, that kid doesn’t have it.”
Of course, making that proclamation about Boller – and being right – was about as difficult as looking at Marilyn Manson and wondering if something went wrong in his childhood.
But because we all made-the-call on Boller, we assume we have the same ability to make an accurate assessment on Flacco. And some folks were really over-the-top harsh on him last Sunday after the Cincinnati debacle.
It’s one thing to critique a player’s performance. Occasionally, when doing so, you have to be overly critical. It’s another thing to watch a player have a bad game and demand a change or the insertion of his back-up.
Here’s what I’ve sniffed out about Flacco in his 3 seasons as a Raven. I’ll write about it more this week, but here’s the real skinny on #5. He seems to just about ALWAYS play well at home. And he doesn’t seem to have anywhere near that kind of success on the road. I think Joe is a quality quarterback. It’s just a shame all the games aren’t in Baltimore. But we’ll handle that on an in-depth basis later this week.
For now, let’s revel in a Ravens win and a terrific performance from Flacco. I, for one, was happy for the guy.
And, like I said, let’s give thanks to a good upbringing. Some of you might have gotten your feelings hurt otherwise.