Proverbs 16: 18 says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
If that is true, and I believe it is, does that mean Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is headed for a fall?
Last spring he famously said this prideful statement on a local radio program:
“I assume everyone thinks they're a top-five quarterback," Flacco said on WNST 1570 in Baltimore. "I mean, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'd be very successful at my job if I didn't feel that way. I mean, c'mon? That's not really too tough of a question."
Actually, I think it is a tougher question than Flacco realizes.
It might be a true statement. After all, Flacco has led his team to the playoffs every year since he came into the NFL in 2008. Plus the Ravens are off to a good start this season. They are 3-1 with tough wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots.
In his most recent outing versus their divisional rival the Cleveland Browns, Flacco threw for 356 yards and one touchdown on 28 of 46 passing. Those are elite numbers, even if many would not consider the 0-4 Browns an elite opponent.
But just because something might be true doesn’t mean you have to say it about yourself. He can believe it about himself. I think confidence is an admirable quality for a quarterback to have. However, humility is an admirable quality for any human to have as well.
May I suggest what I think he should have said? Hypothetically, he could have said “I think I am one of the best. There are several talented quarterbacks in the NFL, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning. I’d like to consider myself in their league.”
Why is that slight change important?
Because the Bible, in James 4:10, also says “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” If you stay humble, you give God the opportunity to raise you up even further. Flacco has no room to be lifted up. He already considers himself at the top.
To me, and to the media at large, it always seems like Flacco longs for attention and accolades and endorsement deals. He wants to be considered an elite quarterback in the same way that Eli Manning wants to be considered an elite quarterback. The difference is that Eli has won 2 Super Bowls and comes from a famous football family.
You don’t have those credentials yet Flacco. The key word is yet. If you work hard and find a way to be humble, you just may get there.