Joe Flacco: ‘We Get To View Ourselves As Kids’
Joe Flacco is 29 years old, he played college football at Delaware, he’s a Super Bowl champion, and last year he signed a $120.6-million contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
Suffice it to say, Flacco at 9 and 19 never could have imagined that his football career would be as successful as it has been.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Flacco said on The John Feinstein Show. “None of us would be here if we didn’t really love the game. No matter how much money you’re getting paid, at some point, it’s a lot of work. You have to really love it to come and do it and do it well every day and work at it year-in, year-out, 365 days a year. (With) how competitive (of a sport) it is, it’s something you have to do year-round and keep up on, so you have to really enjoy it or the league would kick you out because you wouldn’t be able to do your job as well as you could.”
“When I was growing up,” Flacco continued, “athletes did pretty well. So you knew that if you got to the professional level, you were going to make some money. But the way that it’s jumped in the last handful of years, it’s just been insane. And no, I never would’ve dreamed of what it is today.”
As you get older, it is often said, sports become more of a business. That’s inevitable. After all, it is your job. Flacco, however, is still having fun.
“It’s just different, I think,” he said. “I think when you’re a kid, man, how much more fun does it get to go out in the school yard after school and maybe skip out on a little homework and go play a little football, you know? But now it’s a different kind of fun. How fun is it as a 29-year-old guy to be able to view yourself as a kid, go and play a sport that kids play, not have to sit in an office all day and grind and do all kinds of things that you probably don’t want to do? It’s very rare that you get to be around a bunch of guys that are playing a young kid’s sport. You get to feel like that until you’re 40 years old sometimes, so it’s a lot of fun. We do it every day.”
Flacco’s most famous play, of course, is his last-minute, fourth-quarter, 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against Denver in January 2013. The Ravens won the game in double overtime, 38-35, and went on to win the Super Bowl.
As John Feinstein recalls, Flacco could have pulled the ball down and run for the first down on that game-tying play. Instead, Flacco let it fly.
“I kind of had my eye on the safety there,” Flacco explained. “I felt like I could get the ball over (the) top of him (on the) outside the whole time. There was a guy that made me step up pretty big, but I wasn’t thinking about running that one. I kind of thought I had Jacoby on the outside. When I hit my back step, I felt like I had him. It was just a matter of being able to get enough room to get the ball off. One guy made me step up pretty hard. Even when I reared back to throw it, I thought there was a chance he might get his hand on the ball, so I was just trying to do all I could to not let that happen. I was looking downfield the whole time.”