Reporting Jessica Kartalija
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–The Ravens have quite a weekend ahead of them, and quarterback Joe Flacco certainly had an exciting day on Wednesday. It was his birthday. And on Thursday he’ll appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, coming to stores near you.
Jessica Kartalija talked to excited fans.
Clearly, Joe knows football. He’s made the playoffs in each of his five years as Baltimore’s starter.
Now, he’s the main feature in this week’s regional Sports Illustrated.
The headline reads “DEAR JOE, Last Weekend You Took Down Peyton. On Sunday You Get Brady — And the Chance, Once and for All, to Rewrite Your Legacy. All the Best, The Football Gods.”
Ravens fans share their thoughts about the cover.
“It looks good to me,” one woman said.
Kartalija:”Do you think they are going to go all the way this year?”
“I think so,” she said.
“It’s awesome,” a man said. “Joe Flacco is having a great playoff season, and he is going to beat the Patriots. He’s not going to rewrite his legacy. He will create his legacy.”
“It’s really impressive that he has made it so far in his quarterback career,” another man said.
Even Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is impressed.
“Joe’s done a great job since he came into the league,” Brady said. “I’ve played against him a bunch of times, and he’s always played really well.”
Flacco outplayed Brady when the teams met in week three, completing 28 of 39 passes and three touchdowns in the Ravens’ 31-30 victory.
“He’s obviously a great leader,” Brady said. “If you can get your team to this position, it takes a lot of guys, but they have a lot of confidence in Joe and he does a lot of really good things.”
And he has a lot of good things happening off the field, including the birth of his son, Steven, last June.
“It’s unbelievable, really all of it,” Flacco said. “Just going home and being able to hang out with my son.”
On top of it all, the team Tweeted a picture of star quarterback celebrating his 28th birthday Wednesday.
“I wish him a happy birthday, and I hope he wins,” a fan said.
“Happy birthday, do your best and hopefully you get that ring,” said another fan.
“Happy birthday Joe,” one man said. “Good luck with the game.”
This version of Sports Illustrated with Flacco on the cover will be sold in Maryland and parts of the Mid-Atlantic.
WJZ is the place for the championship showdown. See the Ravens and the Patriots battle for the AFC title. Coverage begins this Sunday at 5:30 p.m.