The Coldest Stone: The Super Bowl's Preeminent Curling Enthusiast

Meet Vernon Davis. He is your new hero.

Feb 1, 2013
Outside Magazine
Vernon Davis Super Bowl 49 football San Francisco 49ers curling 2010 Vancouver Olympics bobsled

You don't want this. You want none of this, man.   

The Coldest Stone

Vernon Davis is the world’s greatest bobsled pusher. Has Vernon Davis ever pushed a bobsled before? I’m not totally sure since Vernon Davis is a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, so playing football presumably takes up most of his time, and I, unfortunately, don’t know Vernon Davis (seems like a pretty cool guy, though), so I don’t really know what he does with his free time.

But: Vernon Davis is 6’3’’ and weighs 250 pounds, which is pretty big and way bigger than Lolo Jones, who just walked her way onto the World Champion U.S. team as a pusher. Davis, though, once ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, which is really fast for a regular-sized person and especially fast for a miniature tank. Oh, and he also jumped 42 inches in the vertical jump and 10 feet, eight inches in the broad jump. All of which is to say that Vernon Davis is a big, fast, leg-strong (also arm-strong) man who would be better at pushing a bobsled than anyone who currently does that at a world-class level. It’s all theoretical, though.

What isn’t theoretical: Vernon Davis is interested in curling. Or, at least, Vernon Davis was interested in curling for at least a few days of his life, and Vernon Davis has practiced curling at least one time.

Davis attended the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and served as an honorary for the U.S. curling team. (The Americans did not medal.) And soon after, he held an event called Curling With the Stars to raise money for his charity The Vernon Davis Foundation, which promotes art (Davis is also an artist, y’all) among disadvantaged youths. Holding a curling event to raise money for something might not seem to make sense and it almost definitely doesn’t from a strictly economic standpoint, but it was a way to get people doing something different for a few hours—and to promote curling among Vernon Davis and San Francisco 49ers fans, where there’s almost no overlap other than “The U.S. Curling Team” and “Vernon Davis.”

As Davis says: "You know what? When I walk out of my door in the morning, I want to see kids walking down the street with a curling jersey on. Or maybe even some curling shoes, just ... something. I mean, I want it to grow as big as it can."

So, there you have it. Vernon Davis, American football’s preeminent curling evangelist. Also: America’s bobsled-gold-medalist-in-waiting. Also also: just a pretty great-seeming guy who happens to be playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. So, if you’re on the fence about which team to root for in two days—the 49ers are playing the Baltimore Ravens; two brothers are coaching against each other; pretty big deal, actually; you may have heard of it—consider Vernon Davis and consider all he’s done for probably-not-even-borderline-publically-popular winter Olympic sports, or consider all he could do. Just consider ... something about him. You’ll be better off knowing he exists.

Since you asked—oh, you did'n- ... whatever—here is a prediction for The Big Game: at the urging of Jim, the Harbaugh brothers play a game of checkers at midfield an hour before the game starts. As most Harbaugh-bro confrontations do, this comes to a stalemate after 20 minutes. John suggests they call it a tie; Jim starts writhing on the ground and refuses to stop playing. So, for the next 15 hours, Jim chases John’s final piece around the board, neither able to jump the other player’s final piece: the M.C. Escher image of sibling checkers matches.

Meanwhile, the teams head over to the Louisiana Ice Arena (it’s the only open arena in the New Orleans area on Sunday night) and play the game on a sheet of ice. Most plays consist of every player falling down and sliding off the field because cleats can’t even get traction on newly Zamboni-ed ice. However, Vernon Davis switches to his curling shoes, plays offense and defense, makes 75 tackles, records 40 sacks, and rushes for 800 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 49ers win 96-0.

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