Davis keeps his vision focused despite blur MVP is first to achieve honor in his hometown

Super Bowl Xxxii

January 26, 1998|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

SAN DIEGO -- The running for the easy part for Terrell Davis last night in Super Bowl XXXII.

The tougher job was talking about it.

Davis, who came out in the second period with what he thought was the onset of a migraine headache, cut short his time in the spotlight on the MVP podium after the game.

He said he felt faint and asked to be taken in the locker room after speaking for a few minutes.

Davis, who rushed for 157 yards in the Denver Broncos' 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII to win MVP honors, said, "I got dinged. No, it was not a concussion. I don't think it was. I blinked out for a play and came to the sideline. My vision was blurred for a minute or two. I thought it was the onset of a migraine. I took some medication and the long halftime help."

Davis became the first MVP to win the honor in his hometown. The secret for the AFC success in the Super Bowl is to find more running backs from Lincoln High School in San Diego.

The last time the AFC won a Super Bowl was after the 1983 season when Marcus Allen -- who went to high school at Lincoln -- won MVP honors by rushing for 191 yards for the Los Angeles Raiders in a 38-9 victory over the Washington Redskins.

The AFC ended its 13-year losing streak last night when another Lincoln High player -- Davis -- won MVP honors with his 157-yard effort.

The difference was that Allen was a star at Lincoln and at USC where he won the Heisman Trophy and was a first round pick.

Davis wasn't even a starting running back in high school -- he even played some nose tackle -- and wasn't a star at Georgia. He suffered a groin injury in his senior year, started just seven games and was drafted on the sixth round.

That's why Davis, the only Super Bowl MVP to win the honor in his home town, had trouble believing his good fortune after the game.

"It isn't even real right now," he said. "It hasn't registered."

Davis said his success sends a message to all youngsters who aren't immediate stars.

"Anything is possible," he said. "I think I proved that today."

Davis had his uniform number at Lincoln High retired at a ceremony Tuesday. Allen also had his jersey retired.

"It's like I told the students at Lincoln when my jersey was retired. I feel quite honored that I went to that school and that I can represent it with so much pride. I told the students that you shouldn't listen when someone tells you, you can't do this or that," he said.

Davis became the second player to rush for 100 or more yards in four games in one post-season, tying the record John Riggins set in 1982. He also scored eight touchdowns in the playoffs, the most ever.

His three rushing touchdowns in the Super Bowl set a record and his 18 points tied a record held by Roger Craig, Jerry Rice and Ricky watters. They're also the only other players to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl game.

Quarterback John Elway saluted Davis after the game, saying, "In my book, he's the best running back in the league, bar none. He showed it again tonight. He's always breaking tackles and he's always going north and south. And those big guys up front really did a great job."

Guard Mark Schlereth said that Davis has "unbelieveable work ethic."

Davis said he was happy to help Elway get a ring.

"I congratulated him. I knew it was a long time coming for him," he said.

Pub Date: 1/26/98

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