Joe Flacco is not a controversial guy. He’s not a fun guy either, or a particularly notable guy when he isn’t on a football field. He’s not an exciting guy, or an entertaining guy.

He’s a boring guy. Just ask his dad.

“Joe is dull,” Steve Flacco said in a telephone interview. “As dull as he is portrayed in the media, he’s that dull. He is dull.”

We can debate the merits of his talents on the field, and what he can and can’t do. He’s been great thus far during the playoffs, and he was inconsistent at times earlier during the regular season. He’s thrown 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions over his last five games, and that’s sort of pretty good. As we entered Super Bowl week there was near universal agreement on two facts: Flacco has played a key, crucial role in getting the Ravens to within a win of a championship, and he’ll provide the most boring, useless quotes during the pre-game buildup.

The former remains correct, but the latter is now so very wrong, and the way in which Flacco stepped into some controversy dong is a little jarring.

It happened last night when Mike Klis of the Denver Post asked Flacco for his thoughts on a cold-weather Super Bowl. A year from now America’s grand pigskin pageantry will take place in New York, where pleasant, twinkling snowflakes will gently fall from the sky. Beyond that, Klis was also interested in Flacco’s take because the city where he’s employed is bidding for a future Super Bowl which could be as soon as 2018, and Denver is known from its mountains, its cold, and..and…TWINS.

Hey Joe, can you tell us exactly what’s on your mind without using a word that might offend someone? If you can’t, no worries. It’s not like every word you say is magnified and then crucified this week

“Yeah, I think it’s retarded. I probably shouldn’t say that. I think it’s stupid. If you want a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium. Then you can get one. Other than that I don’t really like the idea. I don’t think people would react very well to it, or be glad to play anybody in that kind of weather.”

Guess not.

To be fair, let’s give Flacco his verbal slip, one that he was evidently aware of immediately. This is just incredibly poor timing for his first major media fumble, especially with Media Day beginning shortly, a day in which the Ravens quarterback will be asked about this quote repeatedly.

But yeah, this isn’t a good look.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • The Dolphins likely won’t re-sign Reggie Bush. #FreeLamarMiller [Jason La Canfora]
  • The Jets are in the early stages of evaluating JaMarcus Russell. Also, hahahahahahahaha. [Newark Star-Ledger]
  • Ray Lewis thought fake Ray Lewis was pretty funny. [KSK]
  • Also, Lewis accepted Anna Welker’s apology while saying that “even a fool is counted wise until he opens his or her mouth”. [Christian Post]
  • And in other urgent and breaking news around the league, Super Bowl GoGo dancers make $250 for four hours of work. Straight cash homey. [Craigslist]

Comments (8)

  1. um…The writer seems to be forgetting that we’re taking about a player from a league that has a franchise named the Redskins. Why is Flacco so deserving of wrath when we’re all willing to look the other way on racial slurs?

    • No one is forgetting about the name of the Washington football team, and how embarrassing and offensive it is. The mayor of Washington recently raised the issue, saying the team should strongly consider a name change if it wants to relocate to a new stadium inside the District of Columbia. That, of course, ignited more discussion and debate which is ongoing.

      But, frankly, comparing Flacco’s slip to that name is silly. Others may be directing their rage and wrath at Flacco, but I didn’t. What he said was dumb, and ill-timed, which is why it needed to be highlighted during Super Bowl week. We would do the same with anyone who said “retarded” — an obsolete word in 2013 — under such a bright spotlight.

      • The issue is that people simply don;t understand what the word means. No only that, but they also expect that their flawed definition and context should be simply accepted by everybody.

        Its simply the media trying to sell a story that doesn’t exist. Flacco was not saying anything about the handicapped or individuals with special needs. The whole thing is silly.

        • In the year 2013, there’s no appropriate context or definition that makes using the word “retarded” in a public forum acceptable. None.

          • With all due respect that’s your context, and your opinion.

          • Well, in your opinion then, what’s the acceptable context for that word’s usage when speaking publicly?

  2. Its not up to me to say, its up to the individual. Its just NOT up to the audience to decide how YOU meant it. With your logic applied to another word, you’re saying that when Richard Pryor said the word NI**ER, he was saying that he hates black people. That doesn’t make sense.

    • I find it difficult to compare the words of a comedian on stage where he’s trying to be, well, funny with a scripted act, to the words of a quarterback, or any other public figure speaking in a formal setting. But for the record, comedians say highly offensive words all the time.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree here, which is sad because we’re discussing such an obsolete word. If you’d like to use the word “retarded” while you’re having a few beers with your buddies, fine. But in a public forum, there’s no conceivable context in which it’s acceptable.

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