NORTHFIELD - Joe Flacco used to be invisible at Ron Jaworski's Celebrity Challenge golf tournament.
The South Jersey native and Baltimore Ravens quarterback would add his signature to the footballs for the charity auction, get introduced to partners who would wonder why they weren't paired with a bigger star, then play a round at Atlantic City Country Club before heading back to his home in Haddonfield.
He was among the headliners this time, however. Flacco, who won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award while leading the Ravens to the championship, posed for dozens of photos while chatting with NBA legend Julius Erving and Jaworski.
He exchanged small talk with LPGA star Michelle Wie, who smoked the ceremonial first drive so far down the first fairway that someone suggested it landed in Ocean City. Then Flacco joined a foursome that included a Harrah's Atlantic City executive and several of the property's biggest customers.
"I'm having fun meeting everyone and talking to other athletes like Michelle," Flacco said. "It's always cool to meet people from other sports."
Wie did not grant interviews to the media, but recounted a football tale for Flacco and Jaworski from her days as an undergraduate at Stanford University in front of bystanders listened.
On her first day on campus, Wie was approached by then-Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh, the brother of Ravens coach John Harbaugh and now the coach of the San Francisco team that Flacco and the Ravens beat in the Super Bowl. Jim Harbaugh asked her to give a pep talk to the football team.
"I didn't know what to say, but you can't say no to Jim Harbaugh," Wie told Flacco, whose younger brother John is a senior backup wide receiver at Stanford. "They were getting ready to play 'U of A' (University of Arizona) and said something like, 'Beat Arizona State.' It was so bad."
Monday's golf outing was part of what has been a whirlwind offseason for Joe Flacco.
After taking the obligatory trip to Disney World after the Super Bowl, he signed a six-year, $120.6 million in March that made him the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time.
"It's been crazy," Flacco said Monday. "It actually hasn't been too bad lately, though. It took about a week for all the hoopla to die down. I've been spending some time with my family in the Haddonfield area and now it's almost time to get back to football."