Sportress of Blogitude

Joe Flacco claims he’d rather have Big Ben playing in Thursday’s game


The Baltimore Ravens are 0-3 and are on the precipice (if they haven’t already) of a completely lost season should the team lose to the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

So why is Joe Flacco insisting he’d rather see Ben Roethlisberger suiting up for the Steelers as opposed to watching the game on crutches from the sideline?

Blame it on his competitive fire, in part, as well as his notion it would give fans what they want.

Roethlisberger of course is out for at least four-to-six weeks after suffering a MCL sprain in his left knee along with a bone bruise. Flacco, despite the fact he has 5-8 record when going head-to-head against Big Ben, still doesn’t want to see a rival go down with such an injury.

“As a competitor, it’s always nice to face guys that you’ve been going against for a while,” he said. “You never like to see somebody injured either, and have to sit out. Hopefully everything is going well with [Roethlisberger], and he’ll be out there as quickly as possible.”

Flacco added it’s bad for the game of football when the league’s best players are on the sidelines nursing injuries.

“I just think it’s good for the game. It’s good for football. It’s good for the rivalry,” Flacco said. “You’ve got everybody’s team the way they really want it, and I think the fans feed into it more. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s going out there [and] playing the game at full strength and putting on a show for the fans and trying to battle your tail off to win the football game.”

Flacco clearly has an enormous amount of respect for Roethlisberger, and perhaps his preference actually would be to go head-to-head one more time against the Steelers quarterback. But more than anything, the Ravens need a win, and Big Ben being on the sidelines gives the team the best shot at notching its must-needed first win of the season.