He is the American Football Conference's rushing champion, the outstanding player who has made NFL history rushing for 2,000 yards in a single season. He is the league's 1998 Most Valuable Player. Now in this deeply honest book, two-time world champion and record-setting Super Bowl XXXII MVP Terrell Davis recounts the inspiring, fascinating story of his life, a tale of adversity and triumph that makes carrying a football seem easy.
From his Pop Warner days, when he was known as "Boss Hogg" to nearly being overlooked by college scouts; from overcoming migraines to surviving a contentious father; from attending a school whose football program folded after he arrived to a difficult intercollegiate sports career; from his battle from sixth string to starting running back for the Broncos his rookie year to becoming one of the NFL's topand nicest, most likableplayers, TD takes you on a journey into the mind and heart of a superstar. Informative, uplifting, TD shows how Terrell has maintained the edge to succeed others have lost and celebrates his unique relationship with the person he calls "my hero," his mother, a remarkable woman who's been beside him through it all.
TD is an extraordinary storythe memoirs of a champion.
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About the Author
Terrell Davis, 25, is the Super Bowl XXXII MVP, the American Football Conference's rushing champion the past two seasons, and regarded as one of football's nicest and most likable players. He lives in Aurora, Colorado.
Adam Shefter, 32, a sports reporter for the Denver Post, has covered the Denver Broncos since 1990. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Award-winning writer Adam Schefter is an NFL correspondent for ESPN. The former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and former Hall-of-Fame voter is the coauthor of three books, including the New York Times bestseller Romo: My Life on the Edge. Schefter lives in New York.
Read an Excerpt
out of sight
The gun ending the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXII had just gone off. It felt like it got me right between the eyes. Right then, my vision went. Just like that. And I knew that not only was the start of the second quarter now moments away, but so was a migraine headache.
As I found my way back to the our sideline, my only thought was, "Oh, no, this is not happening, this is definitely not happening!"
I could see nothing clearly, not the colorful Super Bowl XXXII banners hanging all around San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, not the Bronco trainers trying to fend off my migraine, not my teammates asking me if I was all right, not the Packers players, for whom I was supposed to be causing headaches. An estimated 800 million people spread across 188 countries could see it all clearly, yet all I saw was a kaleidoscope of pain.
You want to know what I was seeing, exactly? The things you would be seeing if you crossed your eyes.
Try it, painful as it might be.
Not pretty, is it?
"I can't see!" I announced near our sideline to anyone who would listen.
"What's that?" our head coach Mike Shanahan said as he wandered over to me, not wanting to believe what he was hearing.
"I can't see!"
"Okay," Mike said as he placed his right hand on my left shoulder, as if everything was going to be just fine. "Just do this. You don't worry about seeing on this play because we're going to fake it to you on '15 Lead.' But if you're not in there, they won't believe we're going to throw the ball, okay?"
Now, I love my coach. The man is disciplined, structured, organized, detailedhe was the main reason we were in this Super Bowl spotlight to begin with. Buthow could he honestly think I could play when I couldn't see anything?
Well, I hadn't questioned him before, from the moment he drafted me out of the University of Georgia in the sixth round of the 1995 draft to the moment he gave me a starting job during my rookie season to the moment when I became a Pro Bowl running back. And I wasn't about to start questioning him now.
Like the good No Limit Soldier and team guy that I am, I glanced up at the scoreboard I couldn't see, ran back onto the field, somehow found my way back to the huddle, and strapped on my helmet. The play"Fake 15, Lead QB, Keep Pass Right, Fullback Slide"was called. The ball snapped. I took a fake handoff from Elway, and ran right toward the line and into the teeth of the Packer defense and linebacker Bernardo Harris. While the Packers were running at meand I only know this because I've seen the replays at least 40 times since thenJohn was quarterback-sneaking into the end zone. Touchdown. Just like coach predicted . . .
While all I could see was one weird blotchy collage,
I could definitely hear the 68,912 people at Qualcomm Stadium turning the place into a noise factory. Greatbut my head didn't enjoy it, not one bit. I managed to spot Elway and give him the Mile High Salute. But now, with the play done and the left side of my head pulsating and throbbing, I needed help right away. Back on the our bench, I found it.
I was treated like an emergency-room patient, all kinds of immediate attention. Bronco trainer Steve "Greek" Antonopulos ripped open his medicine bag and grabbed the dihydroergotamine nasal spraythese days, better known as Migranalthat he keeps around just for me. It's what we use to abort my migraines, which usually hit about 30 or 45 minutes after my loss of vision. Without wasting a moment, Greek stuck the spray right up my nose. I took two sniffs in my left nostril, two sniffs in my right nostril.
And threw up.
It had all started on an innocent enough play, "18 Hand-
off," when I ran outside and cut back inside. For some reason, Packer defensive tackle Santana Dotson thought he was playing kickball, not football, and the guy leg-whipped me, and leg-whipped me real good. I pinballed into Packer safety Eugene Robinson, then crashed into the ground. Now, I don't want to make it sound like I'm blaming those guys, because I'm definitely not. All they'd done was trigger something I had actually set up.
A little confession here, time to come clean. I haven't told anyone until now, because I was just too ashamed of it. But I'd fumbled before I even stepped on the Qualcomm Stadium field that day. I'd forgotten to take my preventive migraine medicine, Indocin, which I consider my own little MVPMost Valuable Preventer.
Usually I take my Indocin about one hour before any practice or game. Just pop the pill, swallow, and I'm good to go, don't have to worry about any migraine headaches hitting that day. Ever since I started taking it, I hadn't experienced a single migraine during any of our games.
The last time I had a migraine was the 1996 regular season, when we played San Diego at Mile High Stadium in Denver on October 6. At that time I hadn't yet started taking Indocin. Since then I had gotten braces on my teeth, given up coffee, stopped eating Big Macs, started seeing a chiropractor and neurologist, begun taking Indocin, and done everything possible to make sure I never would have to see cross-eyed in a football game again. It had worked.