ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--The banner placed on Sports Authority field jumbotron has created a lot of controversy this week.
The NFL's marketing for next Thursday night's kickoff featured banners of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. The large banners have created angry public relation from the Denver Broncos fans.
The defending Super Bowl champions will play the Broncos in Denver next Thursday in the NFL's regular-season opener.The Flacco banner, which is right next to Peyton Manning, made the NFL all-pro questions the move.
"Yes, it is [strange]," Manning told KOA 850 Am, the Broncos flagship radio affiliate." I've never heard of anything like that for a regular-season game."
ESPN reported that Manning asked fans to dial down the noise when the Broncos have the ball. The fans have shown their disgust with online petitions to have the image taken down. Smaller versions of the Flacco image have been displayed with "kickoff" printed on them in the downtown area, including the city's 16th Street Mall.
The disdain for Flacco even sparked a local Denver sportscaster to draw a mustache on the banner. The majority of the animosity does come from the blown coverage leading to a 70 yard touchdown from Flacco to Jones in last years divisional playoff game. This lead to an epic double overtime game which granted the Ravens their victory with Manning's interception to Corey Graham and a Field Goal.
Baltimore will have their kickoff fest in the city next Thursday before the game in Denver.