Super Bowl Hero Flacco Did Not Fare So Well At Chattanooga 5 Years Ago

Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - by John Shearer

Except for being caught on TV excitedly cursing after the Super Bowl victory, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was almost flawless Sunday in being named the MVP and getting a trip to Disney World.

A little more than five years earlier, he did not have quite as good a game in the Football Championship Subdivision title game loss to Appalachian State at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium, however.

But he did get to visit the Tennessee Aquarium on the Wednesday before the game for a team dinner and gathering!

When the University of Pittsburgh transfer and Delaware Blue Hen senior quarterback played against the Mountaineers from Boone, N.C., on Friday night, Dec. 14, 2007, on ESPN2, he was much better known by the NFL scouts than by the average football fan in Chattanooga.

In fact, several scouts were on hand to watch him.

However, players such as ASU running back Kevin Richardson, running Mountaineer quarterback Armanti Edwards and Delaware running back Omar Cuff were flashier fan and media favorites, according to articles in the Chattanooga Times Free Press at the time.

And Mr. Flacco did not do a whole lot in the game to change that perspective. Unlike fellow small college quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw of Louisiana Tech and Steve McNair of Alcorn State when they played UTC at Chamberlain Field in 1969 and 1994, respectively, he did not necessarily look like a can’t-miss pro prospect.

In the game, which was the 11th FCS national title game to be played at Finley Stadium and the third since artificial turf was installed, Appalachian State easily defeated the Blue Hens, 49-21, to claim its third title in a row.

The Mountaineers, who had upset Michigan earlier in the year, had 556 yards of total offense in the victory in front of 23,010 fans.

Although Mr. Flacco’s completion percentage was not great – 23 out of 48 passes – he still managed to throw for 334 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

And one so-so night in Chattanooga did not derail him. With his 6-foot-6 frame and natural and accurate arm, he has since gone on to a very successful NFL career, which culminated with the Super Bowl win over San Francisco.

Among the other well-known personalities who also took part in the national title game when it was in Chattanooga from 1997-2009 were future Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who won in 1997 with Youngstown State; future Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who won with Georgia Southern in 1999 and 2000; and Jack Harbaugh, who won with Western Kentucky in 2002.

Of course, Coach Harbaugh became more famous as the father of this year’s Super Bowl coaches, John and Jim Harbaugh. Jim had actually been on his father’s staff the year before the Hilltoppers won it all in Chattanooga.

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


Prep Football Picks: Week One

Saturday's Sixteen: College Football Picks

  College football with all its pomp and pageantry is finally here with a long weekend of games starting tonight. SEC has two conference games as Arkansas visits Auburn and Texas A&M is at South Carolina … Georgia-Clemson should be a great game, Utah State could give Tennessee a battle and Louisiana Monroe will be waiting at home to beat Wake Forest. Here ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)