Probably our restaurant's only claim to fame, of recent origin, is that every week or two Joe Flacco, of the Baltimore Ravens, comes in to eat. Until recently it was an interesting sidenote; he's a rookie on the team, and Super Bowl fever hadn't yet set in. As the football season's progressed, though, so has the adulation. Customers coming over to shake his hand. Our expo manager chasing him outside to get his autograph - our GM gave her a "don't make me fire you" glare when he heard about that one. Still, nothing out of hand; he's a rookie who's having a great first season, but he's not a celebrity. Or wasn't.
Until last Saturday's play-off game.
Joe Flacco-themed t-shirts are now almost as common as Obama shirts at Baltimore street kiosks. And quiet meals at one of his favorite restaurants are a thing of the past.
He came in again on Sunday, and it was embarrassing to watch. Not least as the entree specials board gained a new entry: "Wacco for Flacco!" I hope, I pray, that that was not added until after he left.
I wasn't his server, but I ran his meal (okay, yes, it didn't happen quite by accident) - and the man hovering at his booth to get an autograph would not move. "Excuse me, I hate to interrupt ritual, but I have your food." Flacco grinned a bit; the man shifted position to let me set the plates down - and he still would not leave. Not for a good two minutes more; and then it took his wife to drag him away so that Flacco could eat before his food got cold. He can't have had too much complaint, though: another table paid for his meal, and a little girl asked if she could buy him an ice cream and "put it on her tab." (The server who took the ice cream over started stumbling over his words. "Girl...buy...ice cream..." Not his smoothest moment.)
Honestly, let the guy alone. Yes, the Ravens are doing well; yes, he's a large part of the reason why...but he is not an animal in a zoo, or an autograph machine. He's not at a public event. He just wants to eat dinner, and if you really want the Ravens to continue doing well, you'll let him!