Flacco begins post-Super Bowl whirlwind

Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS -- Welcome to celebrity status, Joe Flacco.
He's going to Disney World on Monday. And then to New York for an appearance on "The David Letterman Show" before taking part in the Ravens' Super Bowl victory parade Tuesday morning.
When the whirlwind tour stops, he might have enough time to realize what he just accomplished.
"I got about an hour and a half sleep," Flacco said at a press conference at the New Orleans Convention Center 10 hours after he walked off the Superdome turf. "No it hasn't sunk in. It's just a surreal moment. Hopefully in about a week, we can start to wind down and enjoy it."
The even-tempered Flacco denied surprise that he was the Super Bowl MVP.
"I was surprised I got a car," he said of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Flacco, in his fifth season, was presented the Pete Rozelle Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVII by commissioner Roger Goodell Monday morning, passing for three touchdowns in the first half as Baltimore built a 21-3 lead in the second quarter.
"It was a dinner we had at a place called Tark's in Baltimore," coach John Harbaugh said of the moment he decided to draft Flacco. "Joe impressed me as a guy who was determined and had a lot to prove. Joe has come up the hard way. ... I just felt like he was a guy who'd do whatever it took to overcome whatever came. And that's proven to be true.
"I think he'll be the same way with his success."
Flacco finished the 2012 playoffs with 11 touchdown passes, tying Joe Montana (1989) and Kurt Warner (2008) for the most by any player in a single postseason.
"I don't think we ever lost faith this is where we were going to be," Flacco said. "This is where we envisioned ourselves."
Management for the Ravens, from owner Steve Biscotti to general manager Ozzie Newsome, calmly insisted in the weeklong buildup to Sunday's game that the contract wouldn't be an issue. If the two sides continue at an impasse in negotiations, Flacco would be retained using the franchise tag. The exact figures for franchise players at every position aren't known until March just before free agency, but the exclusive franchise marker for quarterbacks is projected at $20 million.
"I'm pretty optimistic," Flacco said. "But who knows, there's all types of crazy things that could happen with these things. This is a great organization, great city and I look forward to being here."
Biscotti said he will "trust in Ozzie" that a deal will get done but also pointed out that Peyton Manning was twice given the franchise tag at a similar, salary-cap eating value from the Colts when negotiations didn't lead to a long-term deal.
"Me and Steve have had some good talks over the past few months," Flacco said.
Flacco, who typically avoids the spotlight and the celebrity of being an NFL quarterback, and his wife have a young son. They found out two weeks ago that they are expecting a second child. He said he's still the same guy he was before hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, and looks forward to getting back to normalcy.
He does understand that won't happen any time soon, a realization that hit him in the early morning hours when he finally hit the pillow in an exhausted state but couldn't close his eyes.
"I went to spend some time with the family," Flacco said. "I went to the postgame party. I got to meet Jay-Z and Beyonce ... that was pretty cool, I don't think that would've happened if we had lost the game."

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