Does Joe Flacco have “that fire”?

December 11, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

In this new era of the Ravens media access under John Harbaugh, there have been many changes. Some subtle and some kinda “right between the eyes.” One of them is the lack of “all access” sound from the bench even for the Rave TV crews. I honestly don’t think very many people watched any of the team’s pre-produced shows over the years — at least very few people have ever talked to me about any of the shows — but the one glaring omission this season that was always “must see” TV for me in the past was Wired. (For the record, whenever I’ve watched their internal shows I’ve always enjoyed them. Larry Rosen does a helluva job. And I really miss Wired!)

And I completely understand what Harbaugh is trying to accomplish by boxing out “distractions” caused by the “me” vs. the “team.” Don’t think the “What’s My Name?” and “RAVENS” reply isn’t lost on me. Billick and I talk about this stuff all the time. I totally get what Harbaugh’s goals were with these steps. (But that said, I miss “Hard Knocks” as well…)

Knowing most of the guys on the team pretty well over the years, it was always fascinating to see (and hear) their fire on the field in the heat of the battle. We’ve all heard Ray Lewis screaming something from time to time over the years. And Billick was famous for his one liners to officials and players alike. But hearing the stuff some of the mild-mannered guys like Peter Boulware, Corey Ivy and Mike Flynn would say during the games always kinda got me fired up.

Harbaugh has taken more of a “no lights, no cameras, plenty of action” kind of approach. Hey, whatever he’s doing the team is 9-4 so who’s to complain? I wish Harbaugh were more honest and accessible and glib but he’s just not. He’s a football coach. He won’t be running for mayor anytime soon. And I think coming from Philadelphia and knowing that the media ran Billick off after he was 100% available and pretty cool, he was expecting a tougher go of it from the media, who can only say and write that the team is 9-4 and playing for first place this weekend against Pittsburgh. (Of course, Mike Preston will always find the most disgruntled player and write that there is disharmony in the locker room. That much you can count on. It’s just more glaring when the team stinks.)

So, anyway, I was up being the insomniac I am when I stumbled upon a nfl.com video (apparently used for NFL Network) that was listed as “LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES” piece. It’s called “Ultimate Audio.” It’s only about four minutes long and it’s the usual “you are there live” in Baltimore at the Redskins-Ravens game from Sunday night. It’s one of those “sights and sounds” in quad sound to experience on your computer. It’s a pretty cool piece even without the headset.

The last 45 seconds of the reel features a rare 2008 “sound check” from behind the Ravens bench. It starts with Ray Lewis singing in full voice with the entire team. It then shows Flacco in front of the bench at the end of the game working his teammates and rallying the troops.

I’ve known Joe Flacco about eight months and I talk to him all the time. I’ve never heard him curse, swear or say anything nasty to me about anyone or about most of anything. He’s a really dorky, funny, self-effacing kinda guy who just lives to play football. He’s a jock’s jock without all of the macho, tough-guy stuff. Everyone likes Joe! He’s simple and humble. And in most ways, kinda un-excitable. It’s a major part of his charm.

Flacco has admitted many times that the reason he isn’t demonstrative on the field is because his younger siblings would all make fun of him if he were to do anything “goofy.”

Go check out this video and tell me what you think of Flacco’s fire at the end of the Redskins game. I hope his family gives him a hall pass on this one but if we never see anymore of this kind of footage this one at least is a classic. It’s almost like he was born to beat the Redskins! LOL…

It got me all fired up! I can’t wait for Sunday!

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