David Zurawik

Letterman asks Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco about contract, power outage, deer antler spray

Here's a look at Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco's appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" Monday, courtesy of CBS:

Flacco, who walked out to a standing ovation from the audience as Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra played "We Are the Champions," talked about his contract negotiations with the Ravens:

Letterman:  "I read something today about you, and this is a contract negotiation year, and before the game, what did your owner say to you about the game and the hopeful outcome."

Flacco:  "Well, you know, actually, I only talked to him a little bit before this game, but before the New England game, you know, he just came up to me and said, 'Listen, this is our time, and go get 'em.  We have all the faith in you, and this is going to be your team for a long time.'"

Letterman: "That's right.  And when we're all done, you come into my office, and you can beat me up all you want, you can get me down on all fours and grab my wallet." (audience laughs)

Flacco:  "Exactly…Well, that was actually earlier in the year when I wasn't signing what they wanted me to sign, he said, 'Listen, when the time comes, I mean, you come and beat on my desk,' and I said, 'All right, I'll take you up on that,' and I think the time has come."

Letterman also asked Flacco about his teammate Ray Lewis, who is retiring from football after this season:

Letterman:  "Now, tell me about this guy Ray Lewis?  What's his deal?"

Flacco: (laughs) "Well, half the time, I don't know, but…"

Letterman:  "And why wouldn't you?" (audience laughs)

Flacco: "But come Sunday and, you know, he's been playing – he's been doing it for 17 years, so come Sunday, he has something special and great teammate throughout the week, so."

Letterman: "Is he the spiritual leader of the team?

Flacco:  "Ah, yeah, I mean, he's the leader in many ways, and that definitely being one of them.

Letterman:  "And he uses deer hoof spray or something, what is it?" (audience, Letterman laugh)

Flacco: (laughs) "You have to ask him about that one, man!"

Letterman also got Flacco's thoughts on yesterday's unexpected power outage at the Superdome during the big game:

Letterman:  "When the lights went out, did you find that unnerving?  I found that unnerving – I wasn't anywhere near Louisiana."

Flacco:  "I just thought it was a little strange.  It was kind of funny.  I mean, some of our guys had a good time with it.  Jacoby [Jones] is from New Orleans, so he started to look into the crowd and get them all going and had a lot of fun with it.  We didn't play too well afterwards, but…" (audience laughs)

Letterman:  "That's what I wonder about because – "

 Flacco:  "Yeah, I don't know if that was the reason."

Letterman:  "When the lights go out, it's 28-6, it's just out of halftime and bang, zoom, we're 28-6, the lights go out.  You don't find that suspicious?"

Flacco:  "Believe me, don't get me started.  My dad is a big conspiracy theorist, so, you know, that's the last thing we need to talk about." (audience laughs)

Letterman:  "I would think that maybe – is that the kind of thing that John's brother, Jim [Harbaugh] might have been up to?" (audience laughs)

Flacco:  "Hey, being an older brother and having a lot of younger ones, that's definitely something they would do."


Flacco looks pretty TV-cool in this clip, no?

Seriously, he's OK on TV.


I am waiting for someone to say he's no Peyton Manning.

Don't. Not this week.

UPDATE, 11:55 p.m. after seeing segment air: Flacco carried off the appearance nicely, I thought. He showed a bit of self-effacing humor when asked if being an NFL quarterback is as hard as it seems.

"An NFL playbook is much easier than people make it out to be," he said. "Come on, we're football players."

And he threw a nice pass across the stage to Letterman to end his visit.

Way to go, Joe. You're going to have your own Buick commercial before you know it.