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Full Lesson Q&A with Vernon Davis

We just posted an English lesson based on an interview with San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

I tried something new in this one that I think we’re going to keep doing. I asked Vernon to define a slang term for our members, in this case “Hail Mary.” He seemed happy to do it, and I think it will be cool for our users to learn new slang from athletes and entertainers.

This interview was shorter than the last one I did with Hutch Harris from the Thermals, because Vernon was on the go. So there are fewer outtakes, but there’s still some stuff that didn’t make it in. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until afterward that I realized I should have asked him about his choach’s pants-dropping speech. Here’s the whole Q&A.

Jason: I hear you went to school on Tuesday.

Vernon: Yeah, I did. Take a player to school. It was good!

Jason: What grade were you in for the day?

Vernon: Well, actually I had to go knock on someone’s door. So, it was a kid that was in second grade and I had to go with him to school and pretty much what we had to do was make up workouts and stuff like that for the rest of the kids.

Jason: Did they have a good time?

Vernon: Yeah, they had a great time.

Jason: How do you pick the charities you work with and what’s your favorite one?

Vernon: Whatever I’m pretty much thinking about. My favorite is pretty much helping people who are in need, so I’m all about giving back. This summer I did a charity weekend and what I wanted to do was raise money for people who are using drugs, drug abuse. My thing is to help them get better.

Jason: Oh wow. So let’s see, you majored in studio art in college. I just wondered if your background as an artist affects the way you play football and if art still plays a role in your life right now.

Vernon: It does. Art still plays a role in my life. I paint or draw or whatever it may be every chance that I get. Once you start painting you probably…like me, for me…I sit there for hours and I’m looking at my painting from different angles and, you know, I just can’t stop looking at it. You know, I want to get up because I get tired…

Jason:  Yeah.

Vernon:  …but I can’t leave the painting without pretty much finishing it, you know, so it can be perfect. I want it to be perfect. And how that translates to football or rolls over to football is that, you know, everything I do on the football field, I like to be perfect. I like to win. I don’t want to lose and it just makes you competitive, I think.

Jason:  Totally. You’re a tight end and tight ends do a lot of things, but one of the things they do is catch passes, and I wondered if you’ve ever caught a Hail Mary pass and if you could talk about what a Hail Mary pass is.

Vernon:  It’s pretty much like a bomb in the air. They also call it a bomb. The quarterback just throws the ball as hard as he can.

Jason:  Totally. And when do you use it?

Vernon:  You can use it in the fourth quarter when you have like 10 or 15 seconds on the clock.

Jason:  Have any Hail Mary passes come your way lately?

Vernon:  I actually had a Hail Mary when we played Dallas. It was 43 yards.

Jason:  But it’s pretty hard to catch a Hail Mary, right? It’s kind of a long shot?

Vernon:  Hmm…Not really. You just…I mean, if you work on it, no, it’s not hard.

Jason:  Oh cool.

Vernon:  I pretty much work on it every day.

Jason: Right on. And then the last thing I wanted to ask you is I notice you have these braids that come out of your helmet and I didn’t start seeing that style until a couple of years ago. Who started that? Where’d you pick that up?

Vernon: I don’t know. I mean guys before me like Bob Marley and I think it roots from Jamaica or Africa.

Jason: Do you feel ties to Jamaica or Africa?

Vernon: No, I just woke up one morning and decided I’m gonna have dreads. It was time to do it.

I sort of misfired with that last question. What I meant was, “When did NLF players start wearing dreads that come out from under their helmet?” I think Vernon just thought I was talking about dreads in general, but I had all I needed for the lesson and didn’t want to keep him on the phone. So if anyone can tell me when players started wearing a tail of hair that comes out the bottom of their helmet (see photo below) I’d be interested to know. I think it looks cool and I don’t remember seeing it as a kid!

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2 Responses to “Full Lesson Q&A with Vernon Davis”

  1. Guy Says:

    Are you retarded?

  2. jasonsimms Says:

    Hey, Guy, thanks for the constructive criticism. It’s really nice having this conversation with you in the blogosphere!

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