BR.com caught up with Ravens quarterback ***Joe** Flacco*** and learned a little about the Southern New Jersey-native's off-the-field life.
BR.com: Some people in the media have been calling you "Joe Cool." What nickname do you like for yourself?
Joe Flacco: "I like 'Bazooka Joe,' like the gum. I think that's good, but I am not into nicknames."
If you were playing the Rock Band video game, which instrument would you play?
"Probably the drums, but I'd have to be on the 'easy' level. I can do the guitar on 'medium' fairly well, and I can do the drums on 'easy' OK. I wouldn't sing. Every time I sing, I hum. And then I'll start getting into it once I get into the song, but some of the songs I don't know."
Who was your first celebrity crush?
"I don't know who my first one was, but Heidi Klum is pretty cool right now. She's in those Guitar Hero commercials. She has the one that's a Tom Cruise kind of thing, like in Risky Business."
Did you change your major while in college?
"No. I went into the business school right away, and I made up my mind two years in that that was it. I was an accounting major. I like math. I don't know if I necessarily like accounting, but it was better than anything else."
What do you remember about the Eagles from when you were young?
"Reggie White, Herschel Walker and Randall Cunningham. They were all still playing when I was younger, and then it evolved. Reggie White left, and Donovan McNabb came in and took over. I just remember them having a really good defense and having all those runs at the NFC Championship games, and finally getting to the Super Bowl. Then I recall just how disappointed all the people were in South Jersey after they lost."
How would you compare your idea of Ray Lewis before being his teammate to now?
"I didn't really know what to think of Ray. You always see him out there doing his dances and things like that. Ever since I've been on this team, Ray has been incredible. Just the way he comes up to you, runs the team, leads the team and gives you confidence in what you're doing. The first time I saw him come out of the tunnel at our home game was just incredible – where he picks up the grass, goes and does his whole dance. I'd seen it on TV, but it was completely different to see in person."
Who was your favorite quarterback when you were younger?
"Growing up, Joe Montana was my favorite quarterback. I liked the 49ers for a little bit of time, and he won some of the Super Bowls. So I liked him the most out of any quarterbacks."
If you could go back and live in another time in history, when would that be?
"I don't know if I'd want to go too far back. You see movies back in the '20s and things like that, everybody walking around in their suits and Fedoras, and sometimes that seems cool."
Is there anything different you've been able to do because you're tall?
"I guess if people need things hung high I can do that for them. I'm pretty big for my family, so people tend to use me to reach the things up high. My grandmom always jokes with me around Christmas time about putting stuff on top of the tree."
How tall is the rest of your family?
"My dad's like 5-11 and my mom's 5-6, so I'm a lot bigger than they are."
So you must get a lot of jokes about being switched at birth.
"Oh yeah – milk man, mail man, a lot of that."
Do you have any other athletes in your family?
"My dad and my uncles all played football or baseball in high school and college, at some level. My dad went to the University of Pennsylvania and played football and baseball. My mom went to Trenton State, which is now the College of New Jersey, and she played softball there for a little bit of time. There are a lot of good athletes in my family."
Did you collect anything when you were growing up?
"I didn't necessarily collect anything. But my brothers, and I guess I was in on it, we collected baseball cards for the most part. I never really heard of football cards until I got here. But baseball cards were probably the biggest thing we collected."
What was your favorite one?
"I liked Ken Griffey, Jr. growing up, so any cards we had of him were special. At one point we had a Mark McGwire rookie card. It was worth a lot, but then he got caught up in all that stuff, so it's not really worth anything."