Playoff-tested Joe Flacco finally arrives at Super Bowl

Welcome to the Big Easy: The Baltimore Ravens arrive in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII on Monday.
Welcome to the Big Easy: The Baltimore Ravens arrive in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII on Monday. (DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP)
Posted: January 29, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - Joe Flacco hasn't been here before.

For several years, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback was often reminded of how close he had come to reaching the Super Bowl.

No other quarterback in the history of the NFL had won as many playoff games as Flacco did in his first four seasons. But the Audubon, N.J., native had also lost four playoff games, two for the AFC championship (2008, 2011).

But Flacco got over the hump last week with the Ravens' 28-13 win over the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. And, well, now he knows what it's like to be at Super Bowl.

"All those other years are in the past," Flacco said not long after the Ravens flew in from Baltimore. "You forget about them. They are what they are, and you went as far as you can go. So to realize that we finally achieved our goal of being AFC champions - it felt really good and we can taste it. So we need to go out there and finish our business."

The Ravens are facing a San Francisco 49ers team that also came up short in the conference title game last year. Except for a few players, not many from either team have played in a Super Bowl or dealt with this week's distractions.

Flacco said he hadn't spoken to any other quarterbacks who have gone through Super Bowl week for advice.

"There's not many on our team that's been through this before and experienced this," Flacco said. "We're a team that's gone through a lot and we've been in a lot of big games. We've played a lot of good teams throughout the year, so I think we'll draw on that and go out there and try to play a loose football game."

Point, counterpoint. After President Obama told the New Republic that "if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football," due to safety concerns, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had a response.

"Well, I have a 4-month-old - almost, soon-to-be 5-month-old - son, Jack Harbaugh, and if President Obama feels that way, then [there will] be a little less competition for Jack Harbaugh when he gets older," Harbaugh chuckled. "That's the first thing that jumps into my mind, if other parents are thinking that way."

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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