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Joe Flacco: Fans Entitled To Boo

Posted Dec 17, 2012

The boo birds were uncharacteristically out Sunday and M&T Bank Stadium emptied early.

Following Sunday’s 34-17 loss, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs sat at his locker with few words, except two simple ones of disbelief that he repeated loud enough for his teammates and press to hear.

“At home,” he said. “At home.”

The Ravens had won 15 straight games at M&T Bank Stadium heading into this month, the longest streak in the NFL at the time.

But they’ve now suffered consecutive home losses in front of their fans, first against a short-handed Pittsburgh Steelers squad with Charlie Batch under center, then in an embarrassing fashion (according to safety Ed Reed) to the Denver Broncos.

It made for an unfamiliar scene at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday.

The boo birds were out and the stadium was more than half empty midway through the fourth quarter when the game’s result was all but final.

Fans booed the offense as it came off the field during its five three-and-outs to start the game. It booed again when the offense came back on the field following quarterback Joe Flacco’s game-breaking interception returned for a touchdown.

Flacco was asked whether it was tough to get booed.

“Always,” he said. “I think this crowd is incredible ever since I’ve been here, I assume before I got here. So yeah, you want to go out there and give your best performance to these guys every week, home or away. And then when you come out and get beat like this, it’s tough on you because you want to give them that performance, and obviously it’s tough on those guys. They want to see us win.”

But are fans, who will now enjoy a fifth-straight playoff berth, within their right to boo the home team?

“They’re entitled to do it the way they see,” Flacco said. “And we’re going to do our best from here on out to make sure that we can come give you guys a good show and put wins on the board.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he wasn’t shocked by the boos.

“No, where I come from [Philadelphia], that’s a pretty normal experience,” Harbaugh said, drawing laughter from the assembled media.

“It’s painful. There’s no question about it, it stings. But rightfully so. That’s the way that we had played. We had done things that you just can’t do if you want to win a football game against a good team.”

Harbaugh specifically pointed to Joe Flacco’s two turnovers – a fumble on the opening drive and pick-six near the end of the first half – as coming at the most inopportune times.

“We deserved it,” he said of the boos. “We’ve got to go earn those cheers. It’s up to us.”

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