For weeks now, Mile High Report has been counting down the reasons why Terrell Davis should be selected for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this Sunday. While the Super Bowl Championships, MVPs, and rushing titles are important, there is a whole other side of a successful NFL career... marketing!
Ever since Davis rushed on to the scene, he's been the face of many different consumer brands, television shows, and video games. It's one thing to have the type of on-field football career that will get you on a magazine cover a couple times and, yet, it's quite another to have the kind of career that maintains your status as an all-time great long after his playing days are over.
Here's a brief look at Terrell Davis the media dominator.
When I sat down to write this, I was sure that Terrell Davis was one of the first faces to grace the cover of the Madden video game. How could I have been wrong? In fairness, 1999 was kind of a chaotic time for football video games. The NFL was licensing itself to pretty video game company that ponied up the cash. Between NFL Blitz, Madden, and NFL Gameday, there wasn't yet a supremely dominant go-to football franchise. After doubting myself I dug a little deeper and indeed, I was right about him being on a cover... the cover of NFL Gameday 99.
Check out these sweet graphics!
Terrell Davis did, however, make an appearance within the Madden franchise. In Madden 2006, TD appeared as a player mentor who dispensed advice. My guess is his advice was, "run like heck and don't get tackled." It worked for TD, so why not?
Remember those Campbell's Chunky Soup commercials where the athlete's mom got super annoying about trying to coerce their superstar son into eating canned soup? Terrell Davis was one of the first, if not the first, to appear in those commercials!
Even John Elway had to get in on that Campbell's soup.
Nike got into the action in 2000.
When you're the face of the NFL, you get asked to do some really strange things... Like this ESPN Sunday Night Football promo.
These days, TD is still popping up here and there. Here's Davis laying down some love for Tabasco Sauce.
While those old commercials are all fun to watch all these years later, most football fans know Terrell from his broadcasting career. In 2006, just three years after NFL Network's founding, Davis came on board as a studio analyst and commentator. Although he stepped away from the network in 2009, he came back to the network in 2013. He is presently still with the network.
His most famous moment on NFL Network, or at least the one most talked about, is the time he passed out while flying with the Blue Angels. Click here to go to the NFL Network Video.
Of course, there is no higher honor for a all-time athlete than to appear on Sesame Street. Davis talked about it during the Super Bowl XXXIII America's Game. Here's a clip.
While the video game appearances, advertisements, and television certainly add to the full picture of who Terrell Davis is, they're only byproducts of the terrific career that he had on the field. You don't get to do all these things, including meet Elmo, unless you deserve it. His is a greatness that endures because of how special he was at running the football.
While I'm making the case that his life in media is one of the reasons for Terrell to go into the hall of fame, it's his career that opened all these doors for him. It's time for the hall of fame voters to realize what Campbell's, Nike, ESPN, and NFL Network all have. It's time for Terrell Davis to be selected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.