Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Finger Lakes

Wacko for Flacco

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Rochester: Wacko for Flacco
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"Good morning. Welcome to Joy Community Church," said Pastor Tony Martorana.

On this Sunday morning, just like most others, Tony Martorana's heart is with the Lord.

Martorana said, "The Lord is speaking to you today, to bring a balance to your life."

Pastor Tony, as he's known, leads the congregation at Joy Community Church in Rochester.

"I've been here eight years, and it's amazing to be in the hood," said Martorana, "It's just an amazing congregation of people."

After his day job's done, the rest of Pastor Tony's day of rest will be spent at home.

"I'm amazed at all the attention Kaepernick is getting. The kid has only played a few games," said Pastor Tony.

A Super Sunday, in his prayers.

Said Martorana, "I want a blowout. Four touchdowns, Flacco passing the ball."

Pastor Tony has a soft spot for the Ravens starting quarterback.

"He was just a great kid. A very solid family individual," said Tony.

While raising his family in Audobon, New Jersey, Martorana's son, Mark was one of high school quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets.

"They were a tandem that was really something to watch. Mark was the receiver, Joey was the quarterback," Martorana said, "Joe's just a quality guy. I'm proud to know them and rooting for someone I watched every day."

Tony says he knew Flacco was good, but is still amazed he's a Super Bowl starter, "He had an arm like a gun. He had some arm. We knew he was going to be a college quarterback. But we never thought pro's, y'know?"

Pastor Tony left New Jersey in 2004, coming to Rochester, and this church is located on what was at one time on of the city's toughest corners.

Football doesn't come into the Sunday sermon much, but Pastor Tony did explain to his congregation why he missed church a few weeks back. He was in Baltimore, for the Ravens win over the Colts, and then some quality time after the game at the Flacco's.

"I watched this little kid, all the way through and now he's a professional quarterback," said Tony.

A quarterback certainly nowhere near as flamboyant or vocal as others on the Ravens. Which Pastor Tony's fine with.

Said Martorana, "I'm not too much impressed with charisma. I'm impressed with character. That's why I'm whacko for Flacco."

And God willing, a Super Bowl win.

Added Tony, "I'm just really proud, y'know." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP