The San Francisco 49ers scored a huge upset victory over the New Orleans Saints last Saturday to earn home field advantage in the 2012 NFC Championship game against the New York Giants. That game will take place on Sunday, although there is a big chance the 49ers would not be playing for a chance at a Super Bowl appearance if not for their standout tight end Vernon Davis.
Mike Tierney of The National ran a story on Davis that focused on the growth that the San Francisco player has made since being called out by then-interim coach Mike Singletary in 2008. Davis was sent to the locker room during a game for not being what the coach considered to be a "team player." After that game, Davis found himself as the subject of an angry rant by Singletary about selfish players.
Davis himself has commented on how that tirade by Singletary changed his career for the better. Davis in 2010 is a much different player, to be sure. He was responsible for several key catches against the Saints, including the eventual game-winner. After catching the touchdown, Davis headed to the sidelines, where he embraced current head coach Jim Harbaugh while being overcome by tears of joy. A drastic departure from the selfish braggart that Singletary had so many issues with. Davis made the following comment earlier this week:
It's not about me.
Everyone is waiting for me to complain this year about the opportunities, but I started telling myself that this game is bigger than you.
That maturity and growth by Davis, both on the field and off, is a huge part of why the San Francisco 49ers are now just one win away from the Super Bowl.