November 08, 2011
Remember how John Harbaugh was so happy on Sunday night that he busted his chin open with a super-giddy hug of Ozzie Newsome?
According to one story, it wasn't just the win that had Harbaugh so amped. It was getting a little bit of revenge on one Pittsburgher who may or may not have insinuated that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is a little girl. Here's Kevin Van Valkenburg of the Baltimore Sun:
It's funny, but right before the final drive, the Steelers scoreboard flashed Ben Roethlisberger's(notes) stats next to Flacco's, and the PA started blasting Lynyrd Skynyrd's "What's Your Name." The stadium roared. John Harbaugh, of all people, was livid about this. (The Ravens coach was so fired up in the locker room after the victory, he actually pulled me aside to explain this, unprompted.) Harbaugh said he thought the lyrics -- namely, "Hey, little girl" -- were intended to be a shot at his quarterback's manhood, and that made his blood boil. That's part of the reason he was so fired up when Flacco engineered the game-winning drive, so much so that he cut his chin jumping up and down and celebrating with players.
Man, the Ravens will fight about anything. Their rivalry with the Redskins was about strippers. The Steelers rivalry is about Skynyrd. If you're not familiar with the song, here's the part that was supposedly meant as an insult to Flacco.
It's strange, where athletes and coaches find motivation. John Harbaugh has a stunningly good record as a head coach, and presides over one of the best teams in the NFL. And he's sweating some name-calling from the guy who picks the songs for the Steelers video board? Name-calling that might not even be name-calling, but coincidence? I'd have never guessed that something like that would stay on his mind for more than half a second. Flacco said he never heard it.
As for the Pittsburgh scoreboard guy, I can't endorse his behavior. It's not a huge deal, and I'm sure worse things have happened on other scoreboards throughout the NFL. But isn't it that guy's job to display things that support the home team, provide game information and otherwise get out of the way? If I were a head coach, I wouldn't want someone chiding and provoking the other team unless I asked him to. I'm not sure it's the most responsible thing in the world as far as promoting an atmosphere of civility in the stadium, either.
Gracias, B-More Birds' Nest.
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