A game day Joe Flacco will never forget
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco lived up to his nickname during one unforgettable game day.
At 5:30 in the morning last Sunday, Flacco got a phone call from his wife, Dana. She was going into labor, poised to deliver the couple's second child. Dana was in New Jersey and Flacco in Baltimore, less than eight hours from taking the field against the Cleveland Browns.
"You obviously don't know how you're going to react when you get that call," the Audubon High School graduate recalled Wednesday. "It's always a game-changer."
Even for a guy known as Joe Cool.
Dana gave birth to a boy around 11:30, 90 minutes before the start of the game.
"The fact that it happened before the kickoff was settling for my mind. I was able to relax a little bit," Flacco said. "I'm usually pretty reserved before the game, and I was walking around the locker room way more fidgety than I normally am. So it was definitely soothing to know she had the baby. It was a lot easier to deal with."
Following the national anthem, Flacco was all business. Baltimore was held scoreless in the first half, but Flacco directed two touchdown drives over the final 30 minutes to help the Ravens pull out a 14-6 victory.
In the huddle, Flacco was able to hide the emotions of being only hours removed from welcoming a new child into the world.
"On the field you couldn't tell," center Gino Gradkowski said. "Definitely, in the locker room before the game you could tell he was excited. All smiles. We were all happy for him. But during the game, he was same old Joe."
The only real difference in his schedule was that Flacco skipped the postgame interviews so he could get on the road to join his wife and newborn child.
"It was a pretty cool day, a pretty special day," Flacco said. "It definitely helps that we won, but it probably wouldn't have been that bad of a loss knowing that I was going to be able to go back to that. Still couldn't believe it, really. Just wanted to get back there, see if she was doing OK and he was doing all right. Everything was good."