2. This is…
3. Vernon Davis.
4. Vernon Davis is a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, who, as you might have heard, will be playing in the Super Bowl on February 3.
Here he is with teammates/buds Michael Crabtree, left, and Frank Gore, second from left. Vernon Davis is third from left.
You also might have heard that the 49ers will be playing against the Baltimore Ravens.
If you heard differently than that, you might want to reevaluate what you’re allowing into your ears.
5. And by the time you finish reading this post, Vernon Davis will be your new favorite football player. Unless you’re a Ravens fan. In that case, you probably agree with ol’ Joe right here.
6. The first reason that Vernon Davis will be your new favorite football player is because he’s really, really good at football.
This play was from last week, when Davis had a huge role in helping the 49ers to a win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons basically couldn’t keep a man on Davis, who went for over 100 yards receiving and a TD. After a slow regular season that saw Davis struggling to build a rapport with new starting QB Colin Kaepernick, the pair seem to have found a rhythm.
7. Davis also made what’s known as “The Catch III” in last year’s playoffs; it’s called that because it’s the third in a series of legendary touchdown receptions by 49ers players at crucial moments in the playoffs.
The catch helped San Francisco beat the New Orleans Saints at the very end of regulation, sending them to the NFC Championship, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl-champion New York Giants.
8. Part of why Davis is so good at football is because the dude is a preposterous physical specimen. That’s him on the right; his brother Vontae, who’s a cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts, is on the left.
Vernon Davis famously ran a sub-4.40 40-meter dash at the NFL scouting combine after attending college at the University of Maryland, where he was an All-American. As a tight end and a guy who weighs 250 pounds, that kind of speed is unheard of, and he’s unquestionably one of the best athletes in the NFL.
9. In addition to his on-field exploits, there are many other reasons why Vernon Davis is your favorite football player. Yes, I will list them. FIRST: he is very stylish.
10. Here he is rocking a tux at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
(The pants and jacket could be cut a little slimmer, and there shouldn’t be so much break in the ankle, and I don’t think he tied that bow tie, but I’m trying not to quibble: he’s a football player wearing a tux.)
11. Damn son, don’t hurt ‘em with those gold cleats. DON’T HURT ‘EM.
12. Davis also majored in studio art at the University of Maryland, and he’s carried that interest over into his professional life. Davis paints, and he opened an art gallery in San Jose.
This an auction held by the gallery benefitted Davis’ foundation, which helps promote art education and awareness for at-risk youth.
13. Here’s some work of Davis’, taken from his Instagram.
His Instagram is VernonDavis85.
17. It gets even better: he’s also supported the foundation by holding curling events, and he served as an honorary for the U.S. curling team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
20. Davis has completely rehabilitated his image since being seen as a diva under coach Mike Singletary.
Davis now says he had the wrong idea of how to try and be a star player, and Singletary’s discipline helped show him that there were more ways he could contribute to the team than just catching footballs. Once lumped in with loudmouth receivers like Chad Ochocinco, Davis is now viewed as a consummately well-rounded NFL player.