Just two kids in love

I was a little hesitant when I was first asked to step outside of my comfort zone — and a mostly-anonymous spot in the blogosphere — and write a story for Sun Magazine about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco getting hitched to his longtime girlfriend, Dana Grady. At that point in my short time at The Sun, I hadn’t written much for print outside of the occasional hamstring injury update or recaps of press conferences, so piecing together a 2,000-word magazine feature was a daunting task, but also a welcome opportunity. With Flacco and the Ravens rushing to get in sync during training camp, the newlyweds understandably didn’t have time to participate in the story. But I found that I probably learned more about their relationship and their special day from the perspective of their wedding photographer, Jason Prezant, and his assistants, who became the story’s focus. Covering the Ravens, you quickly realize that these guys are normal people — ones who just happen to be blessed with ridiculous athletic talent. Flacco is one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks, but one quote from Prezant’s assistant, Katy Timney, shed light on what he is like away from the spotlight, pressure and testosterone of the football world. “You could definitely tell that they were so in love,” Timney said. “They really were just a normal younger couple on their wedding day. Every once in a while, I got to see the couple share a moment with each other without anybody around. They stole a quick kiss or looked into each other's eyes for a second or whispered in each other's ears.” That is something that resonated with me when I proposed to my fiancée a day before I filed the story. As Flacco said in one Pizza Hut commercial, “That’s powerful stuff, man.” -- Matt Vensel
Photo courtesy of Jason Prezant
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