Truth be told, any quarterback for the Ravens is likely to give us fits, but there's something particularly obtrusive about Joe Flacco's personality.
Flacco walks and talks like a champion, but he's never competed in the Super Bowl. And despite his confident strut, he's always desperately trying to prove something in a very childish way.
Last April, Flacco reflected on the extent of his own talent:
"I assume everybody thinks they're a top-five quarterback. I mean, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'd be very successful at my job if I didn't feel that way. I mean, c'mon. That's not really too tough of a question."
That statement, right there, says it all.
There's a difference between self-confidence and self-delusion, but Flacco mixes the two concepts into one big psychological mess. He embodies this messiness on the field and he makes it worse when he verbalizes these notions to the media.
Being the right quarterback for your team is what's important. Being your team's missing ingredient is what counts. Believing you have the tools to succeed is what matters. Convincing yourself that you're better than Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady is just misguided.
Here's another odd statement from Flacco. This one came during a press conference after Baltimore's loss in the 2011 AFC Championship. His statement is in response to a question about whether or not he proved something with his performance:
"I don't care. I mean, look at the film. You know, you look at the film, you see how I play. I pretty much play the same way every week. So, if you think I played better this week than other weeks, I think you're wrong. This is the way I play every week, and I really don't care."
Does this guy sound confident or defensive? Does he sound strong or childish? Does he sound like the best quarterback in the National Football League, or like a quarterback who doesn't have a grip on reality?
It's bad enough that Flacco plays for our arch rivals, but he makes it even worse with his dismissive personality and his perplexing statements. He's like Bill Belichick, but weirder, meaner, less brilliant and without the Super Bowl rings.
Like modern Samurai, Patriots fans bow in respect to our opponents before we duel to the death. But it's literally impossible to bow to Joe Flacco. Can't do it. You can't respect this guy. Can't even summon a courtesy bow for this one.
Everything about him, from his black tights to his freaky mustache, makes our skin crawl.