- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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A couple hours after Joe Flacco signed his new six-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens that made him the highest paid player by average annual value in NFL history, he pulled into a restaurant to celebrate.
Armed with a $29 million signing bonus and the promise of a total of $52 million guaranteed over the life of the contract, Flacco rolled down his window at the McDonald's drive-thru in Aberdeen, Md., after ordering a 10-piece McNugget meal, with fries and an unsweetened iced tea for $6.99.
Sherry Norman, a diehard Ravens fan, glanced at the profile of what she thought looked remarkably like the guy that had just signed a huge contract at the Ravens facility about 40 miles from the McDonald's and in the direction of Flacco's New Jersey home.
"I kept saying to the people I work with, 'Doesn't that look like Joe Flacco?,' " Norman said. "And then he turned towards the window and it was him."
Norman asked the customer if he was indeed the Ravens quarterback and when he confirmed he was, Norman asked to take a picture. Flacco obliged as Norman snapped the shot and thanked him for a great season.
Flacco's stop continues the tradition of drive-thru surprises in sports. After Jeff Van Gundy signed a two-year extension in 1996 to be the head coach of the New York Knicks, he was recognized at a McDonald's rolling up in his Honda Civic.
The morning after winning the 2010 Masters, Phil Mickelson ordered doughnuts at the Krispy Kreme in Augusta, Ga., and was photographed sitting in his car in the green jacket he had just won.
4hEric D. Williams
1dBy Ian O'Connor