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NFL puts Joe Flacco banner on Denver’s stadium; Broncos fans are predictably irate

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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Just what Denver Broncos fans need: A daily reminder of what happened the last time their team played a game that mattered.

You probably remember. The Broncos had a frigid game against the Ravens all but wrapped up, Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco completed one of the most improbable touchdowns in playoff history in the final minute, and Peyton Manning threw an overtime interception that led to a Ravens field goal in the second overtime. Baltimore went on to win the Super Bowl. Most Broncos fans are still catatonic.

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So what better way to pick at that wound than to throw up a huge banner of Flacco on the Broncos' stadium, and also one on the popular 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver?

The NFL, as part of its publicity push for the opening-night game (because otherwise anyone in Denver might forget the first game of the NFL season?) has put up banners in Denver of the Broncos and Ravens, the teams involved in this year's traditional Thursday night opening game.

Broncos fans took their anger to where everyone who is angry about something goes: Change.org, to file an online petition to get the banner removed from Sports Authority Field. Here's the intro to the petition to Roger Goodell and the NFL, which was started by "Broncos Nation."

"How dare the NFL put a giant, 40 foot poster of Joe Flacco on our Mile High Stadium. How dare they! I will not stand for this grave injustice! We must join forces as Broncos fans, nay, as *Broncos Country* to put an end to this most audacious and detestable act. Send a message to the NFL by signing this most sacred change.org petition."

Maybe Broncos fans would like another banner of one of their own players to ease the pain of the Ravens loss last January? Like, say, Rahim Moore?

The banner of Flacco downtown was dealt with in a much less organized manner. It was quickly taped over by Vic Lombardi, a reporter at the CBS affiliate in Denver. He even put up Tout videos of him doing the job. Over the tape he wrote, "Not in our house!"

The NFL already should feel bad that the defending champion Ravens have to start on the road because of a conflict with baseball's Orioles on Sept. 5. If anything drives home the guilt over Baltimore being forced to start its title defense in a hostile environment, it's this.

But hey, the NFL couldn't have done a better job publicizing the Ravens' trip to Denver next week if it tried.

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