Monday, January 9, 2012

On To Foxboro

We are approximately two months removed since baseball's World Series, when many UC Davis fans directed their attention (and support) to the St. Louis Cardinals. We saw our own Daniel Descalso help the Birds capture the title, cheered when he rapped out two hits in his team's miraculous Game 6 rally, and watched as he retired one of the last Texas batters in the final inning of the seventh game.

Well, we get to do it again.

With Denver claiming a 29-23 overtime win over Pittsburgh in Sunday's AFC first round, tight end Daniel Fells moves a step closer to matching Descalso as a UC Davis grad winning a major pro sports championship. Fells even took part in the action, hauling in a 40-yard pass from Tim Tebow as can be seen at the NFL video archive.

A member of the Aggie football team from 2001-05 (and a senior when UC Davis claimed that 20-17 upset of Stanford), Fells signed with Atlanta as a rookie free agent in the spring of his senior year. He did not play for the Falcons that year, nor with Oakland in 2007, but signed on with St. Louis a month into the 2008 season. Fells' role with the Rams grew to the point that he posted career highs of 41 catches and 391 yards last year, playing all 16 games and starting six. He then signed as a free agent with Denver at the start of the 2011 training camp.

Fells shifted from more of a receiving tight end to a blocking one when Tebow took over as QB in October, having recorded 11 receptions for 159 yards during the five games when Kyle Orton was slinging the pigskin. Of course, Tebow's influence became the stuff of legend -- Denver won seven of the next eight after a rought start -- and the Broncos snagged a division win and a postseason spot with an 8-8 record.

Up here, most NFL fans will likely have their eyes on the 49ers, who will take on a New Orleans team replete with Div. II and mid-major alums: the Saints field such regular contributors as Marques Colston (Hofstra), Jeff Charleston (Idaho State), Jahri Evans (Bloomsburg), Ramon Humber (North Dakota State), Jermon Bushrod (Towson), Chris Ivory (Tiffin) and Junior Galette (Stillman). To get any of you to switch from Fox to CBS will be a stretch.

But at least during the commercial breaks, glance over at the action in Foxboro and look for big #86. You're gonna want to root for him. Again.

-Mark Honbo, assistant athletics communications director, still wonders by the devoutly Christian Tim Tebow does not throw more often to a man who listed his nickname as "Rev."

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