Dana Grady started dating Joe Flacco when the two were high school seniors in South Jersey. She stayed with him through a roller-coaster of a college career as he transferred from Pittsburgh to Division I-AA Delaware, and has been with him ever since as he’s made himself into one of the most prominent — and well-paid — quarterbacks in the NFL.
Here’s what you need to know about the Flaccos.
1. Dana & Joe Are High School Sweethearts
Dana and Joe both grew up in the South Jersey town of Audubon — just outside Philadelphia — and attended Audubon High School, where Flacco played football, baseball and basketball and was recruiting fairly lightly, with Rivals.com listing him as a three-star recruit.
When the two got married in 2010, they had the ceremony in Audubon before celebrating at a reception in Philadelphia. It the same church where Flacco’s parents had been married years before.
2. Dana & Joe Got Married in 2010
Seven years after Dana and Joe graduated from Audubon, they tied the knot in a ceremony in 2010. Jason Prezant Photography has a bunch of wedding photos, including a shot of the Flaccos and their wedding party eating popcorn in a South Jersey movie theatre and one of Dana, in her wedding dress, snapping the ball to Joe as he holds a bottle of champagne and his groomsmen serve as offensive linemen.
Here’s how Prezant described the wedding:
I met Dana in 2010 when I photographed her cousin’s wedding, so I knew going into this that Dana and Joe’s wedding was going to be beyond amazing. The day started in the home where Dana was raised. We then headed to the ceremony (via trolley of course) which was held at the Holy Savior Church. Afterwords, we visited their high school, and the field the Joe played ball on years ago. We stopped by the movie theater for a few shots, and then moved on to the reception which was at the lovely Hyatt Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. At around 9pm, we all walked outside to see fireworks over the river. [side bar – big thanks to my friend Jeff for shooting with me!] The fireworks were running a little bit late and Jeff said (nodding toward Dana and Joe who were cuddled together patiently awaiting the sky to light up) “Don’t worry, they make their own fireworks”. Best line of the night. Another big thanks to my friend Katy who helped me out during the day! And one more shout out to Rebecca from Queen Of Hearts wedding consultants for making everything run so smoothly throughout the day.
3. Dana Gave Birth to the Couple’s 1st Son in 2012
The Flaccos welcomed the first of two sons when Stephen Flacco was born on June 13, 2012, about three months before the start of what turned out to be a championship season.
4. Joe Missed the Birth of the Flacco’s 2nd Son to Play Against the Browns
As if things weren’t going well enough already after Flacco led the Ravens to a win over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, 2013, the Flaccos had another reason to celebrate: The day after the Super Bowl win — which Flacco parlayed into a record six-year, $120.6 million contract — the Flaccos announced that Dana was pregnant again.
Flacco disclosed Monday morning that his wife, Dana, is expecting their second child. They were both on hand for the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player news conference, where he was presented with the keys to a 2014 Corvette Stingray.
Flacco said they learned of the news just two weeks before.
“We’re excited,” said Flacco, whose wife was sitting next to him and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Daniel Flacco entered the world on September 15, 2013, which — unfortunately for Joe — happened to be a Sunday. As Dana was giving birth to Daniel, Joe was warming up for the Ravens’ Week 2 game against the Browns.
Joe led Baltimore to a 14-6 win — the team’s first of the year — then headed to the hospital. As USA Today wrote at the time, Flacco’s decision to play rather than be present for his son’s birth drew some mild criticism. Then again, had Flacco skipped the game, the criticism could have been a lot worse.
Flacco talked about his decision to play with CNN’s Rachel Nichols, and the Ravens’ website transcribed some of Flacco’s comments.
Here’s what he had to say about his emotions as he awaited the news:
It was killer. Especially right at the moment. I was way more fidgety than I normally am – just walking back and forth and doing a lot of things I don’t normally do. I was just so much more amped up and so, ‘Ahhhhhh, what’s going to happen?
And here’s Flacco on the silver lining of missing the birth: Dana’s mom got to be present since Joe wasn’t there.
I think my mother-in-law was very happy though. My wife had her in there and if I was there, it probably would have just been me and her. The fact that I wasn’t there gave her the chance to see her daughter have a baby and I think that was probably a pretty special moment too.
5. Joe Missed the Pro Bowl For Their Third Son
Flacco and his wife Dana’s third son, Francis Michael, was born on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 weighing nine pounds, seven ounces. While Flacco missed his second son’s birth, he chose to skip the Pro Bowl to make sure he was their for Dana during the birth of their third.
Baltiomre Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he thought his quarterback made the right decision, telling The Baltimore Sun:
They called about the Pro Bowl and he had to decide, Dana or the Pro Bowl. Flacco was an alternate to the Pro Bowl, but he declined an invitation after several initially selected quarterbacks, including the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers backed out.