It’s not every morning that the reigning Super Bowl MVP calls me on my cellular telephone, as much as it’s usually my student loan lender calling to inform me that I cannot make payments with old baseball cards. Thanks for nothing, ’89 Ken Griffey Jr. But I was happy to get a call from Baltimore Ravens QB and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco this morning to discuss his new Mighty Wings ad campaign with the QB that he defeated in February, Colin Kaepernick.
In case you haven’t seen the commercials – I’ve included them after the jump to make myself hungrier – Flacco and Kaepernick have picked up the torch left behind the McRib buns in the storage closet by Michael Jordan and Larry Bird for the new Mighty Wings trick shot commercials. Additionally, Flacco and Kaep got the bad dub treatment in another commercial, and so I grilled Flacco about these ads with the hard-nosed questions that have made me a perennial Pulitzer contender.
With Leather: The original McDonald’s trick shot stars were obviously Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Did you and Colin argue over which of you was Jordan in this revival?
Joe Flacco: You know what, it didn’t come up but it would have been funny. I think it’s pretty obvious that if there were a Jordan and Bird between Colin and I, I’m think I’m more of the Larry so I’ll take him and he can take Jordan. That’ll be the way we go.
WL: Thanks to YouTube, football trick shot videos have become pretty popular again. Are there any trick shots that you’re particularly good at? What about your teammates?
JF: When it comes to throwing a football, man, I don’t know how many different trick shots you could actually do. You can throw the ball at the goal post, and if you’ve seen the commercial then you know that we throw the ball at the goal post, and we throw the ball off the scoreboard. It was actually a pretty cool and fun day, and I don’t think we could actually perform all of those tricks as nicely as they made us perform them in the commercial. But it was pretty cool for both of us to just hang out and try out the Mighty Wings.
WL: Your McDonald’s ad pokes fun at the Super Bowl blackout that occurred back in February. What was your thought when that happened at the time?
JF: It’s kind of funny that they poked fun at that. At the time, I didn’t think too much of it, I just thought it was one of those crazy things and as we were playing the game, we just kind of thought what everyone else thought of it and not really that big of a deal. It was just one of those things where we wanted to get back to playing the game. We didn’t focus on it too much?
WL: What was the craziest conspiracy theory that you heard about the Super Bowl blackout?
JF: I don’t know what the craziest thing was, but I talked to a lot of people who kind of got scared that it was some sort of terrorist threat, and that didn’t even cross my mind. I just thought, “The lights went out, okay.” I don’t know if I was dumb for thinking that or not, but that never even crossed my mind, some sort of bomb threat or something.
WL: Who is behind the blackout in the new commercial? Is it going to be revealed or will this also be the biggest conspiracy theory of the year?
JF: I don’t know if you’re going to find out who was behind the blackout, but this Sunday will be the big reveal about who stole the wings. You can go to “Who’s Got the Mighty Wings?” and vote for who you think stole the wings. There are a bunch of suspects on the site, and you can go on there and make your vote, and then the big reveal will be on Sunday.
WL: The commercial I really enjoy is the bad lip dub ad. Would you actually condone you or your teammates eating chicken wings during a game? It seems like a bad idea to me.
JF: I don’t know but it would be funny to see, that’s for sure. I’m sure some of the kickers, when we got back to the locker room at halftime, I’m sure they’d love to have some of the Mighty Wings. I probably wouldn’t mind if they did it, as long as they didn’t have too many.
WL: Do your teammates or friends have any random nicknames for you that you don’t like? Can we declare today the day that you officially changed your nickname to “Party Chicken”?
JF: Hey man, you guys can call me whatever you want. But no, my teammates don’t so I might have to settle with whatever you come up with.
WL: Can I have your seal of approval to change my fantasy team name to Joe Flacco’s Party Chicken?
JF: Yeah, you can do whatever you want. You have my approval.
WL: At any point while making these commercials, did you and Colin ever argue over who would win in an actual trick shot competition?
JF: We didn’t, but the funniest thing that happened, there were some guys there throwing the ball around in the background, and some of them wanted to catch some passes from us. So it was kind of funny to throw passes to them and watch Colin throw his 99 MPH fastball and see if they could catch it. It didn’t go too well for those guys if I remember correctly. We’d throw a pass to them and they’d put their hands up, but as soon as the pass got near them, they’d pull their hands back and didn’t even make an attempt to catch the ball.
WL: Your wife just gave birth to your second child, congratulations on that. When you watch this commercial with your kids in a few years, will you tell them that it was real and you actually threw the ball off the scoreboard?
JF: They will probably be so much more computer savvy than I am, that they won’t need me to tell them if it’s real or not. They’ll know just by looking at it. My wife was actually home over the weekend, and she said that the commercial came on, and my older son – he’s not that old, just 15 months – was standing there watching the TV, and she was trying to show me to him, and he was totally confused. He could kind of see that I was on the TV, but he didn’t really know what was going on.
WL: Which McDonald’s character do you most relate to and why? If it helps, I see myself as a Fry Guy.
JF: I have never really thought about it too much. Which McDonald’s characters are still around? The Hamburglar? That’s the one I know, so I’ll pick him.
WL: I would have gone with Grimace, since you’re the big man in Baltimore and purple’s your color.
JF: Yeah, that’s what we said here.
WL: That’s probably the better one to go with.
(Disclaimer: I also asked Joe where he keeps his Super Bowl ring, and while the question sounded so different in my head, it came out so awkwardly and I’m pretty sure that Flacco is adding me to a watch list. Sorry about that, Party Chicken.)