NEW ORLEANS -- Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco likes to portray himself as an ordinary Joe. He spent part of Saturday at Café Du Monde, eating beignets between posing for pictures and signing autographs.
But no matter what happens from here on, Flacco's life surely never will be the same again.
He is a Super Bowl MVP now.
"Hey, if you say there's going to be some kind of celebrity with it, I'm cool with that, but I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable with it," Flacco said Monday. "I kind of like to go about my business."
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Good luck with that.
Super Bowl XLVII, won by the Ravens 34-31, will be remembered for Ray Lewis' goodbye, the meeting of the Harbaugh brothers, Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return, the 34-minute power outage at the start of the third quarter, the 49ers' comeback and the Ravens' goal-line stand.
Mostly, though, it will be remembered as Flacco's coronation.
Flacco now is considered an elite quarterback, however elite is defined. He is a star about to be paid like one.
He shot a commercial for Disney on the field in the aftermath of the victory celebration and then flew to Disney World on Monday to serve as the headliner of the Magic Kingdom's parade.
Jay-Z and Beyonce wanted to meet him at the team's postgame party.
"I don't think that would happen if we would've lost the game," Flacco said.
Life isn't just good, it's grand for Flacco, who accidentally was caught by CBS at the end of the game exclaiming -- with an expletive -- just how "awesome" it is.
Flacco, working on 90 minutes of sleep, received the keys to a new Corvette on Monday after collecting 14 of a possible 20 MVP votes. He announced that he and his wife, Dana, are expecting their second child. And it goes without saying he will become one of the league's highest-paid players.
Flacco has completed his rookie contract and is scheduled to become one of 22 free agents on the Ravens' roster. While the team will part ways with a number of players, Flacco won't be one of them.
"I'm pretty optimistic [about staying in Baltimore], but who knows," he said. "There's all kinds of crazy things that can happen with these contracts that we've all seen before, but this is a great organization. I love being in a great city, so I don't really anticipate any problems."
Flacco threw three first-half touchdown passes and then led the Ravens on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to hold off the hard-charging 49ers, who were down 28-6 after Jones returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.
Flacco finished 22 of 33 for 287 yards, three touchdowns and a 124.2 passer rating. In four postseason games, he passed for 1,140 yards and 11 touchdowns, becoming the first in history with 1,000 passing yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception in the postseason.
"Joe impressed me as a guy that was really determined to be good and had a lot to prove," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I just felt like he was a guy that was going to do whatever it took to be the best he could be, and that's proved to be true."
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760