It certainly wasn't Joe Flacco's best day as a quarterback, but the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback could be excused for having other -- and more important -- things on his mind. About an hour before the Ravens kicked off against the Cleveland Browns, Flacco's wife, Dana, gave birth to the couple's second child. They also have an infant son, Stephen. Flacco played the game anyway, and completed 22 of 33 passes for 211 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Not numbers that would blow anybody away, but the Ravens won, 14-6, and Flacco could look forward to a very special postgame celebration with his newly expanded family.
“No doubt about it," Flacco said after the game, when asked if the baby/victory combo made this one of his best days. "Anytime you have a child, it’s one of your best days. The game didn’t go exactly how we wanted it to, but that’s how we’ve won football games around here. We’re able to win like this, and sometimes you have to do it in an ugly way.”
Flacco said that while he kept his mind on the game when he was on the field, he couldn't help but think about other events.
"I can’t wait to go back [to New Jersey] and see him,”
Some might criticize Flacco for his priorities, but Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had no issue with it, and brought one similarity around to his own family -- it seems that Stephen and Daniel Flacco might have something in common with the Harbaugh brothers.
“Congratulations to Dana [Flacco], first of all. She’s getting the job done on her own out there," Harbaugh said with a laugh after the win. "We appreciate that, Dana. Thank you, thank you. Daniel -- congratulations to Daniel. He’s healthy and ready to roll.
"It’s interesting, my dad [said], ‘I think they’re 15 months apart, Stephen and Daniel, which John and Jim are 15 months apart, too.’ I don’t know what that means or anything, it’s kind of interesting – a trivia question, maybe?"
Harbaugh said that there was a chance that Flacco may have taken the quick trip from Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium to New Jersey for the birth, but that thought was scuttled. Not that the coach would have had much to say if Flacco had gone the other way with it.
"Joe comes up to me at breakfast and he tells me what is going on, that Dana is at the hospital and she is in labor," Harbaugh recalled. "Then, he tells me a couple of hours later what the dilation is and I could see that he was praying. But I found out that he had a plan with some of the other players. The plan was – that he really couldn’t follow through with – he had planned to come to me and tell me that she’s in labor and he was getting in his car and heading for New Jersey to be there for it. I’m so glad he didn’t do it. He would’ve had me hook, line and sinker and in the boat. To play with that on your mind, I think obviously says a lot, and we appreciate that.”
It appears that all the Flaccos are happy and healthy, and not a bad day for Dad.