Jan. 7, 2010

NFL star named honorary captain for 2010 U.S. Olympic Team for Men's Curling

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers football team has been named the honorary captain of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team for Men's Curling.

Davis, who is playing in his first Pro Bowl Jan. 31 in Miami and was named a starter for the National Football Conference, took up the sport just a few weeks ago but like so many others who get caught up in the ancient Scottish sport, Davis became an instant fan of the sport.

"I'm excited for the opportunity. It's quite an honor," Davis said. "I look forward to going to the Olympics and being an honorary captain. And, I look forward to learning more and meeting those guys and finding out what their practice is like."

As honorary captain, Davis will be in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games next month to support the team's quest for gold. Men's team members John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Jason Smith (Cape Coral, Fla.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.) and Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.) are all big NFL fans and are excited about the opportunity to bridge the Olympic sport of curling with the NFL.

"It's a great opportunity for the sport to have a Pro Bowl-type athlete interested in our sport," said Phill Drobnick, head coach of the men's Olympic curling team. "We're really excited to interact with someone who has worked so hard to raise his level of play in his sport and become undoubtedly one of the best tight ends in the NFL. This is definitely something great for the sport of curling, and the team looks forward to seeing him in Vancouver."

In addition to supporting the team in Vancouver, Davis taped several public service announcements for USA Curling on Tuesday with the support of Atomic Productions, Inc.

"I got a chance to really s how my personality and they let me do what I wanted at the end. I had a blast with it," Davis said about the PSA taping at the 49ers facility and Sharks Ice at San Jose.

Davis, 25, is a native of Washington, D.C., and played his college ball at Maryland. This is his fourth season in the NFL after being selected sixth overall in the draft by the 49ers back in 2006 with the team's top pick. This has been a breakout season for Davis, who with his 13th touchdown last week tied the NFL record for a tight end.
"We're definitely honored to have someone of his talent stepping out of his normal space on the football field to help support the sport of curling," said Rick Patzke, chief operating officer for USA Curling.

The men's team recently appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," among several other media opportunities that have being popping up in the past few months.

USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, bitRail and Nike and is partnered with CurlingZone.com.


For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).