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NFL catches flak over Flacco banners in Denver

The SportsXchange

The big Joe Flacco banners placed in Denver by the NFL to promote the season opener are not going over well with Broncos fans.

The large banners featuring the Ravens quarterback are part of the league's marketing campaign for its "Kickoff" game. The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens play the Broncos in Denver next Thursday to begin the 2013 regular-season schedule. The Broncos were eliminated in the AFC playoffs last season by the Ravens.

One of the Flacco banners is displayed next to a similar one of Broncos quarterback Payton Manning. Even Manning wondered aloud why the opponents' quarterback is featured so prominently in a rival's city.

"Yes, it is (strange)," Manning told KOA-AM radio. "I've never heard of anything like that for a regular-season game."

A large Flacco banner is displayed on Sports Authority Field and severall smaller ones are hanging in downtown Denver.

Some Broncos fans have started an online petition to have the Flacco banners removed.

"It was like insult to injury, man," Marquis Benjamin, a resident of northeast Denver, told The Denver Post. "After what transpired in the playoffs, with Joe Flacco of all people to now be in the center of the city? ... At first I was like, they're just promoting the whole football season, but when it started to create and issue, I was like -- this is disrespectful."

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