VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Flacco banner in Denver draws fans ire

DENVER (AP) - Joe Flacco looms larger than life in Denver, and not just because he engineered the stunning upset of the Broncos in the playoffs that propelled the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl title.

The league's marketing campaign for next week's kickoff game features several large banners of Flacco fluttering from lamp posts on downtown streets - and a giant one several stories high that hangs at Sports Authority Field alongside a banner of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

That has drawn an angry public reaction from Broncos fans who have taken to Twitter and to the streets to vent their frustration. One local sportscaster used a Sharpie to draw a mustache on a Flacco poster hanging along Denver's 16th Street Mall, and covered another with tape.

Some fans have organized an online petition asking the league, which purchased the advertising space from the Downtown Denver Partnership, to remove the Flacco banners.

The Ravens visit Denver on Thursday for the NFL's regular-season opener. They're the first champion to open on the road since the Super Bowl team began hosting the league's Thursday night kickoff celebration 10 years ago.

In a radio interview this week, Manning questioned the placement of the Flacco banner on the stadium, telling KOA 850 AM, the Broncos' radio affiliate in Denver, ``It doesn't seem to make much sense that the Denver Broncos have to have an opposing player on their stadium.''

``We respect the fans' passion and enthusiasm for the game,'' said Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of corporate communications. ``This will be in many ways a Super Bowl-like atmosphere with a national audience to kick off the season. It's a tremendous matchup, but built around it is some of our activities that you would see at a Super Bowl or you'd see at an international game where you promote both teams.''

McCarthy noted that in the 2007 kickoff, there were giant banners of Saints running back Reggie Bush hanging alongside those of Manning, then with the Colts, in Indianapolis. Last year, there were subway lines named for Dallas QB Tony Romo and Giants QB Eli Manning. And the year before that, a huge banner of Saints QB Drew Brees hung alongside one of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers at an arena near Lambeau Field.

The difference is, this is the first time the giant banner of a player is hanging on the opposing team's stadium.

McCarthy reiterated that the league wanted the defending Super Bowl champions to open at home, as is custom, but the Baltimore Orioles wouldn't reschedule their game, so the Ravens are opening on the road.

He said the game in Denver also is used ``to promote the matchups of all the other teams. So, think of it almost as an opening ceremony. During the game next Thursday we will celebrate the return of the NFL across the country. There will be special moments before the game that will be different than if this was a Week 7 game, which it could have been.''

McCarthy added that images of Manning will be displayed in Baltimore when the signage and stage for Keith Urban's kickoff concert there go up next week.

Defensive end Derek Wolfe said he prefers everyone leave the banners alone and let the Broncos' defense worry about taking down Flacco.

``We'll take care of that,'' he said. ``You guys just come to the game.''


AP NFL website:


Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

HEADLINES SB53 Future Wagers
WR Terrelle Pryor to land with Jets
Eagles sign WR Wallace for 1 year
Jets' CB Johnson feels no pressurre
Seahawks re-sign RB Mike Davis
Giants trade JPP to Bucs for 2 picks
DE Shelby to re-sign with Falcons
Eagles DE Long leaning toward return
NT McCullers re-signs with Steelers
Why Buy Picks From
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 2145
Gary Bart + 1530
Paul Bovi + 1386
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 200
Hank Goldberg + 200
Bill Marzano + 191
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Zack Cimini 62 %
Pat Hawkins 59 %
KellyInVegas 59 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1557
Scott Rickenbach + 1469
Paul Bovi + 987
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 668
Stephen Nover + 563
Vince Akins + 532
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 531
Jimmy Boyd + 420
Dave Cokin + 400
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership