Besides proving himself to be a better quarterback than people thought prior to the NFL playoffs, Baltimore Ravens and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco has showed a personality that nobody had really ever seen. He even made headlines with his poor word choice when asked about a cold-weather Super Bowl being played in his home state. These things happen when you are playing with great confidence. But his confidence might have got the best of him near the end of the Ravens second Super Bowl title, when he was ready to exercise terrible judgement on the last play of the game.
The Ravens had just taken a safety with 4 seconds left, to avoid setting the 49ers up in decent field position to throw a Hair Mary. This left the Ravens in a free kick situation, and the 49ers needing a return for a TD to win the game. Flacco, obviously tasting victory, was ready to do whatever was necessary to keep Tedd Ginn, Jr out of the end zone, even if it wasn’t legal.
NFL Films had Flacco mic’d for audio for this year’s game, and you can see and hear Flacco recruiting teammates to tackle Ginn Jr if he broke a return along the sideline, before settling on himself to do the dirty work. Here’s the transcript:
Flacco: “If he starts to break it, go tackle him.”
Flacco: “I don’t know … what else can … I mean, they might be able to get a touchdown on that, but I don’t know.”
Sensing he’s not getting anywhere with Pitta, Flacco seeks to recruit others for his plan, turning to face center Matt Birk and offensive tackle Michael Oher.
“Hey, if he breaks it, if he busts this for some reason, tackle him; go tackle him … I don’t know what the rule is on that, but …”
Birk: “Why can’t you?”
Flacco: “I will — I’m going to.”
Luckily for Flacco, he didn’t have to take matters into his own hands. And that’s a really good thing, because if he or anyone left the sideline to make a play, the referee probably would have award a TD to the 9ers, per the NFL Rule Book’s Rule 12, Section 3, Article 3:
“Palpably Unfair Act. A player or substitute shall not interfere with play by any act which is palpably unfair. Penalty: For a palpably unfair act: Offender may be disqualified. The Referee, after consulting his crew, enforces any such distance penalty as they consider equitable and irrespective of any other specified code penalty. The Referee may award a score.”
Still a great soundbite, though. Almost as good as Belichick telling the Patriots to let Manning throw the ball to Manningham.
H/T SB Nation for video