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

Wednesday, February 6, 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


Lookouts Hold On To Beat Montgomery Friday, 5-4

The Chattanooga Lookouts (9-13) held off the Montgomery Biscuits (12-9) to earn the 5-4 victory at home in front of 5,025 fans at AT&T Field. Chattanooga's player of the game Mitch Garver, made his presence known early as he led off the second with a double. The bases became loaded after Jake Faria hit TJ White with a pitch and walked Joe Maloney. Leo Reginatto took advantage ... (click for more)

Shoulders, Hester Lead CSAS Past Lookout Valley, 10-7

Most of the regular-season district softball games are in the book and teams are trying to sharpen their skills as they prepare for the post-season in hopes of landing in Murfreesboro for the season-ending TSSAA state tournament the week before Memorial Day. Such is the case for the Red Bank Lionettes, who are hosting the 2016 Red Bank Invitational this weekend at the Red Bank ... (click for more)

Representative Jimmy Duncan Endorses Donald Trump For President

Representative John J. Duncan, Jr., one of the most senior Republicans in the House and the only Republican remaining in Congress who voted against the Iraq War today endorsed Donald Trump for president. Rep. Duncan said, “With only four percent of the world’s population, we buy 25 percent of the world’s goods. Every country wants into our markets. We have tremendous leverage ... (click for more)

5 Considered For Cleveland City Manager Position

Five names were selected  Friday  by a citizens advisory committee to send to the Cleveland City Council for consideration as the next Cleveland city manager. The five are Angie Carrier, Joe Fivas, Mark Reeter, Seth Sumner and Julie Underwood. The list is being sent in alphabetical order so no one has an advantage when the city council considers the candidates. ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Settle It With A Vote

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which I consider a pretty good authority on what words really mean, defines “freedom” in this way:  “The quality or state of being free: such as, (a) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; (b) liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; (c) independence -- the quality or state of being exempt ... (click for more)