Joe Flacco will never forget Sunday, for reasons far more important than football.
His wife, Dana, gave birth to a boy (Daniel) Joe as Flacco was preparing for Sunday’s 14-6 victory over the Browns. It was the couple’s second child, and Flacco obviously had more on his mind than usual heading into the game. He was told of the news during pre-game warmups, but managed to focus well enough (22 for 33, 211 yards, one TD) to help the Ravens win their home opener.
Afterward, coach John Harbaugh talked about the hours leading up to the game, with Flacco worried about his wife being in labor in New Jersey.
“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 said. “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 he had a plan with some of the other players. 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 have 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.”
Flacco called Sunday one of the best days of his life.
“No doubt about it,” Flacco said. “Anytime you have a child, it’s one of your best days. They game didn’t go exactly how we wanted it to, but that’s how we’ve won football game around here. Sometimes you have to do it in an ugly way.”
Asked if he thought about the baby during the game, Flacco said, “Of course, not on the field but on the sideline. I can’t wait to go back (to New Jersey) and see him.”