Sports Authority Field now bears a giant image of Joe Flacco. (Joe Mahoney / AP)

The Super Bowl champions will open the NFL season on the road in just over a week, a wrinkle in the usual practice that isn’t sitting well with fans in the city whose team lost in the playoffs to the champs.

All around Denver, there are banners and posters. Worst of all, a giant picture of quarterback Joe Flacco, whose Baltimore Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 38-35 in double-overtime in the playoffs last January, adorns Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Fans are taking this so personally that there’s even a petition to remove the signage, but the problem is that the season opener is a prime-time extravaganza, one that’s bigger than the teams involved and that usually evolves into a post-post-Super Bowl party for the champions. The Ravens weren’t able to play the game in Baltimore because of a scheduling conflict with the Orioles, so the game was moved West.

The NFL’s idea of decorating the town left the Broncos with some explaining to do to fans.


Maybe this will die down, but it’s another off-key note for the NFL, which has been hitting an unaccustomed share of them lately, with the ESPN-“Frontline” issue to the clear-bags manifesto to, now, this.

Sept. 5 can’t get here quickly enough.

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