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A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

November 04, 1998|SCOTT MOE

What: "TD: Dreams in Motion."

Price: $23 (Harper Collins Publishers, 204 pages).

When I first picked up this book, I thought "This can't be very interesting. Terrell Davis hasn't been in the league long enough to have a book full of memories."

I was half-right.

Davis, in his fourth NFL season, doesn't describe an amazing compilation of football experiences. But he does show effectively what he went through to get from Pop Warner to the NFL. And the most interesting reading is when he describes his travails growing up.

After playing two years in high school, Davis was recruited by only Long Beach State and Utah State. He played a year at Long Beach, then the 49ers dropped their program.

He transferred to Georgia, where he struggled to get along with Coach Ray Goff.

"I don't want to make it sound like I didn't like Georgia," Davis wrote. "I loved it. . . . Except one thing. The head coach I played for."

In three years under Goff, Davis claims he was treated like an outsider, forced to play injured until he suffered a torn hamstring, and that Goff even told scouts not to draft him after his senior year.

After Georgia, Davis did what many NFL hopefuls do--go to combines and hold personal workouts. I found his experiences there, as well as his first training camp, the most interesting of his football experiences.

Davis writes of being at the Indianapolis combine, grouped with 15 other running backs. While in line for physicals, Davis, already embarrassed by having to strip down to nothing for his physical, had to stand aside while Penn State's Ki-Jana Carter, selected first by Cincinnati, was escorted to the front of the line.

But the final obstacles to reach the NFL weren't as imposing as those he faced as a child. To toughen Davis and three of his brothers, Joe Davis, their father, took his kids out of bed one night, lined them against a wall and began shooting a gun over their heads. Terrell Davis was 8 or 9 at the time. Yet, Terrell Davis still loved his father and wrote of Joe Davis' death when Terrell was 14 as his darkest day.

Davis writes lovingly of his mother, Kateree, who used to take in kids when Terrell was a child and give them a place to stay and a meal to eat if they had none.

Of course, there are three chapters devoted to the 1997-98 season and the Broncos' Super Bowl victory.

Terrell Davis is not John Elway or Dan Marino. His NFL memories are not as extensive or interesting as theirs. But he does have a story, a story I surprisingly enjoyed.

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