In an attempt to promote Thursday's annual "Kickoff" event that pits the Baltimore Ravens against the Denver Broncos, the NFL hung a huge banner of Flacco from Sports Authority Field at Mile High that has drawn much ire from Broncos fans. Flacco has been the centerpiece of the bitterness, but said he embraces the hate.
"Being hated is not a bad thing," Flacco told reporters Sunday. "I don't know if I'll be too popular for this, but I don't know how I really feel about Johnny Manziel. But I feel like now everybody hates him. He's quickly becoming my favorite player in college football."
Flacco finding the flashy Manziel his favorite sounds like a Jazz musician who digs twerking, but Flacco understands unfounded animosity when he sees it.
"I don't know if it's deserved towards me, but I happen to be the guy they put up there," Flacco said in an earlier conference call with Broncos beat writers, per The Denver Post. "I don't think people here or anybody in our city would be too happy if we had somebody else from a different team on our stadium. I wouldn't expect anything different but all the people in Denver to be pretty upset about it."
Thankfully, this national nightmare will be put to rest Thursday, with an actual football game that has actual meaning.