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The amazing, inspiring story of Davone Bess

Bess First of all I want to share with you that the 2008 numbers are in and this blog has set all sorts of records. This year this blog enjoyed 2,839,126 page views, making it the No. 1 sports blog at The Miami Herald with no one else even close. So thank you and great job by you.

I want to share with you today the story of Dolphins receiver Davone Bess. It is amazing. It is inspiring. It is, in my opinion, worthy of a movie -- particularly if Bess continues his meteoric ascent and improvement. Notre Dame's Rudy has got nothing on this kid.

The story is so good, it tells itself.

So that is what Davone Bess is doing. Here now is Davone Bess in his own words:

"My mom grew up pretty much a single parent. She had me at the age of 15 and she had my brother at 17. My dad pretty much wasn't there. If anyone was there it was my brother's dad, but not really because he was in a big time drug dealer. He was in and out of jail himself and going back and forth so he wasn't a reliable source.

"There was times my mom was in a room breaking down, crying, going crazy trying to figure out how to pay the bills and stuff. Knowing all the negativity my family had grown up in, there was almost no way out of our situation. This was in Oakland, California. I should tell you I was the first person in my family to go to college. I was the first person on my dad's side of the family that went to high school. That kind of gives you an idea of the type of family I grew up in. And my grandma was really supportive of my mom,  but it's crazy because my grandma was actually pregnant at the same time as my mom. I'm the same age as my auntie. So [my grandma] couldn't really take care of me like she really wanted to because she had her own to take care of. so my mom was a kid -- a kid raising two kids.

"Sports pretty much kept me busy, kept me out of trouble, kept me off the streets. My mom always stressed, 'We don't need to be going that route like your stepfather,' meaning my brother's dad. And being a kid, everybody got in trouble, doing this and that when your parents told you not to. But I always had sports to lean back on and it always helped me to stay focused and keep me from getting deeper into serious problems.

"My stepfather, like I said, was in and out of jail a lot. He was there when he could be. But it's different when you got a male living with you in the house. He didn't stay with us. I graduated high school and one day I went to pick some friends up, but they ended up having some stolen merchandise with them. I picked them up. We get pulled over. And they charged me with everything because I was the driver. They knew I had nothing to do with it. But because of the fact I was an accessory, I did 15 months in a juvenile detention facility. Those guys wanted to testify on my behalf and tell them I had nothing to do with it. I was getting ready to go off to college and do all these positive things, but their attorneys wouldn't allow them to do that because that would make them look bad.

"I was going to Oregon State. I had signed a sports scholarship to go to Oregon State already. I had just graduated high school. It hurt. It hurt big time. So it was time for Plan B for me. I knew I was going to get out. I had all these positive things going for me, but the positive things ended up screwing me because [the judge] felt that I knew better than to put myself in that situation.

"So I go to the facility. It was as open facility. If I had wanted to walk out the door and leave, I could do it. There was like no gates, no nothing. I could walk out. Obviously, if you walk out, you get in trouble. You might get more time. They had a whole bunch of leagues -- volleyball, softball, flag football -- so I'm doing all these different things. And with the flag football team, we end up going to this local high school to play. And there was this whole bunch of kids being recruited from this school. I guess I started turning heads playing against the kids that were already being recruited.

"We were playing 7 on 7 and one of June Jones assistants ended up seeing me. This was the summer of '04 and from that summer throughout the fall I was talking to [the University of] Hawaii. I got out in September. And then they brought me out on a trip in October and offered me a scholarship. I accepted, and in January 2005, I enrolled at Hawaii.

"I got my opportunity back. I still wasn't sold that my dream was definitely going to come true and I was going to the NFL. I knew that by me going into that situation, it was going to be that much harder to make it to the NFL. Being Hawaii, nobody respects Hawaii. And then there was still the trouble issue -- the character issue -- that people were going to wonder about.

"I didn't get drafted. And it was frustrating. But I didn't give up. I knew whatever team I was going to, I was going to give my all and give my best. I set specific goals for myself when Miami signed me. They called me in the fifth round and I thought that was going to be my round. But they said they didn't have any other picks and had to use their picks on, like, a lineman or a running back or something. So I was, like, OK. Then right after the draft my phone was ringing off the hook. Like 12 teams called me after the draft but I had actually verbally committed to coming to Miami during the seventh round. So I ended up saying, 'I'm just going to go to Miami.' I did know the situation and I felt this was the best spot for me to come in and contribute.

"They gave me a $7,000 signing bonus and my agent said there were a couple of teams willing to give me up around $9,000 or $10,000. But that didn't matter. I knew this was the best opportunity and best fit for me. I think my second preseason game, against Jacksonville, they bumped me up and I actually started as the third receiver. And I was like, 'OK,' and got a little more confidence. And then the next game, even more. It was the last preseason when I had my best game, even on special teams. And that let me know the coaches were serious. And Week 1, here it is and I'm the No. 3 receiver and starting in the three wide receiver package. And my confidence grew from there.

"So never listen to anybody that says you can't do something. Because through all those times, throughout that whole story I just told you, I always had people in my ear or talking behind my back saying I wasn't going to make it. 'He ain't going to do this, he's just going to be another statistic on the streets. He ain't this, he ain't that. I'm happy he went to jail.' I just kept my eyes on the prize. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted to accomplish. And I took that motivation and kept it going. So don't let anybody tell you you can't do anything."

Amazing stuff. And thinking about Bess and guys like him on this team, is it any wonder why the Miami Dolphins think they can continue winning this season? 

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FRIST

That story is ok Mando, but now tell me one with some suspence.

First and wow!! crazy story....bess is truly an "outlier"....go fish!!

is that frist the congressman??

great story...bess is the man

Great stuff, as always Mando! Congratulation to Davone Bess for being a great example of overcoming long odds.

And congratulation Mando on 2.8 million visitors.

Great story! Bess seems to be the epitome of the attitude of these Dolphins as you alluded to Mando.

Great story. Oh, he was in juvenile detention. That's no big thing. I thought he was in a federal penitentiary from reading another story about his past.

Being a Dolphin fan from Hawaii, it was great hearing that Davone was signed by Miami. Us, Hawaiian's saw first hand what Davone could do for 3 years under the June Jone's spread offense! Awesome route runner and hands that were born with stick'um on them! He reminds me of another undersized, under appreciated former Miami receiver named Welker. Davone you are doing a "Shaka" job!!

I was a Bess fan from the start and was rooting for him all the way! I am very happy for his success and I hope it continues. Him and welker are my two favorite receivers. Thanks for the story Mando. It is a huge testament to his character, perseverance, and long suffering that he went through all that and is now suiting up as a starting WR for the dolphins in their first playoff game since 2001. I'll be rooting for you Bess!!!

Awesome story. He did good by sticking with his word and instincts for the best situation instead of going after the money. Had he gone to the team who offered him 9 or 10k, he likely would have been cut or on some practice team right now instead of starting in the playoffs and being assured of a much bigger bonus then 7k the next contract he signs.

Great story!
I started rooting for him at the begining of the pre season when i read a post from somebody who claimed he was his grandpa and said good things about him.
I see Davone as a long term player here! i hope he keeps working hard, gets better and hopefully miami will compensate his efforts!

Great story!
I started rooting for him at the begining of the pre season when i read a post from somebody who claimed he was his grandpa and said good things about him.
I see Davone as a long term player here! i hope he keeps working hard, gets better and hopefully miami will compensate his efforts!

Great story was rooting for him since rookie camp hearing his story makes me wanna root harder..his overcoming the odds is just like this season.how can you not root for guys like bess,cammarilo,cobbs and polite

Very inspirational story. As for those who condemn, walk a mile in his shoes before you choose to castigate the man. We all deserve second chances!!!

Armando, is the rumor that Ross might go after Petersen from Minny because of a previous relationship?

Graet accomplishment !
Im even a bigger Bess fan now.

Great and inspiring story. Davone is a great example of perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, and someone who our youth can look up to as he continues to improve and grow. Keep moving forward Davone, and make it happen for us on Sunday!

the only thing that can make this weekend better is a Fins win!!! after watching Nick SATAN choke to Utah.

can anyone tell me where i can watch the phins playoff game on the web after it's over? i'm on a plane all day tmrw and missing it which is killing me. PLEASE!!

That kind of story is truly inspiring. That is one tough situation to be in but to come out of it and go to college, well that is truly something. I hope this guy is around a long time.
And he can play ball too. A clutch go to guy that will catch the ball and get that first down in heavy traffic is not a thing most people will or can do. What I really noticed is that he lacks the "All ME" ego when he plays.

I was able to see Bess 4-5 times last year in Hawaii.I told my buddies this guy was the REAL DEAL!Reminded me alot of Wes. This TEAM,and it truly is a team,is full of players no one else wanted,see CHAD( GAGGREEN GAVE him to us).NO superstars,just guys with alot of heart,and pride. GO FINS!!!!!!!!!!

Nice to see that 140 mil the jests spent on high priced prima donnas worked out for them..........LMAO...Wait.......brett just threw another interception...GO FINS!!!!!!!!!

GREAT STORY ARMANDO!

Too bad for you I read it on the S-S website about two weeks ago. Way to go.

BTW, you should have voted for Pennington for MVP. The reasons you gave for Manning as your MVP don't hold water.

TWENTY-THIRD COMMENT! YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Thank you Armando for all your hard work this year. Great story about Davone Bess. His story should be an inspiration to youth everywhere.
That is the story of our team this year Don't give up and good things will happen. Sure we can use some more talented players but I hope we don't change the chemistry of this TEAM .
Go Dolphins!!!!

Inspirational dude and i was already a fan. Even bigger fan now. I like his courage, catching ability. He is a gun.

Great story, & good job relaying it Mr. 2Mil++ Hits.
And Kudos to Jones for giving the kid a chance.

I hope all the self-proclaimed law-and-order types out there, who never want to give any 'gangsta' any chance, but just want to 'lock 'em up,' refelct on this.

Also, if Bess was on a NY team, or even the Ravens, the networks would be doing a piece on this in the pre-game,but since he's on the fluky, disrespected Dolphins, not even a whisper. God, I hope we win just to mess up Berman & the rest of the talking heads.

And now Devone has achieved his greates accolade: His photo next to Armondo Salguero.

I like Bess best!

Bess is a poster child for this team. A no-name, overcoming the odds, staying focused on one's goals, never quitting. You're right, what a story!

Here's looking forward to another Victory Monday!

Godbless Bess I hope he has a great career and is a dolphin for a long time always liked this kid.Anyway to me he should be the true number 2 wideout for this team,depending on what we do in the market next season he very well could be.Like I said before Cam/Bess and Ginn in the slot.

I like the part where the truck driven by that bad guy is going to run over the kid on the bicycle, then the robot rescues him. Thanks for sharing this with me.

One could have at least provided a proof reader a.k.a an editor for this article by young Mr. Bess. Its not as though the Herald columnists don't benefit from such services from time to time LOL. Bess has some of the best hands and route running ability on the team. It isn't hard to see his work ethic reflected in his play. I'm happy for him.

Great story, & good job relaying it Mr. 2Mil++ Hits.
And Kudos to Jones for giving the kid a chance.

I hope all the self-proclaimed hard-asses out there, who never want to give any 'gangsta' any chance, but just want to 'lock 'em up,' refelct on this.

Also, if Bess was on a NY team, or even the Ravens, the networks would be doing a piece on this in the pre-game,but since he's on the fluky, disrespected Dolphins, not even a whisper. God, I hope we win just to mess up Berman & the rest of the talking heads.

I was able to see Bess 4-5 times last year in Hawaii.I told my buddies this guy was the REAL DEAL!Reminded me alot of Wes. This TEAM,and it truly is a team,is full of players no one else wanted,see CHAD(the dumb a$$ GAGGREEN GAVE him to us).NO superstars,just guys with alot of heart,and pride. GO FINS!!!!!!!!!!

Your blog is like the Holiday Inn, or Denny's. I know it's going to be there - good or bad. The other paper? After 11 months as a new Dolphin fan, I still can't figure out what the heck they are doing organization-wise on their on-line "paper."

He is my favourite player and the reason the Dolphins don't need to draft a receiver. Between him and Ginn, the Dolphins could be set at the position for years. F-'em up, Davone!

Bess and Camarillo should start next year with Ginn returning kicks and being the third reciever. Unless we get Brandon Tate. Then we should trade Ginn.

very uplifting. he's likely the become a great long term asset for the team. Armando, any anything on the state of the front office and ownership? why isnt Bill just given some meaningful portion of the ownership?

GREAT BLOG Armando!
It is not only inspiring, but let you know all great things behind sports.
Thank you for sharing.

And Davon... All my respect to you man! You rock!

Arturo

Congrats on the rating Mando,

Bess has tremendous potential. He plays with passion, and extreme quickness. He'll be with the Dolphins for many, many years. Congratulations to him for overcoming great adversity. Others fold.
And you are right Mando, this is just a small part of what an incredible story the Dolphins are this year.

Go Phins!!!! You make us proud!!

Hopefully his story is not over yet and he will add a championship with the Dolphins to complete his testimony of his life.

Great story Armando,,,, sooooooo should we get a wide receiever in free agency or the draft now that this receivers are stepping up and playing huge??

BBBLLEEEAAAATTTTTT! Great job by you Armando. I wish I could read information like this on my own blog.

Armando, this is truly an amazing story, one we should have heard during preseason. I'm disappointed at the crap we have to endure on all the pre-game shows every Sunday when they could be revealing a story like this. This is something else! And I wish Bess all good luck and fortune during the postseason and his entire career here at Miami (and elsewhere, but hopefully he stays with the Dolpins)!

All I can say is WOW!!!!!! great story, But we"ve only reached the begaining of this story. The way this kids playing(and i mean this) no dolphin reception record is safe.....I think we"ve only reached chapter 3 of a 10 chapter book with this guy.

Maybe ted(hands of stone) ginn should read this article.....

Amazing story.. Gave me goosebumps. You have some skills Mando. Get the "Screenwriter's Bible" to assist you and write that script. Marley & Me has got nothing on you.

did you guys know that marc is a homosexual crossdresser from the orlando area??? will he/she is. but enough of that. that story of Bess is a great story mando, Keep it up I hear the pulitzer people are looking your way....

LET US CALL LHEM THE ANCHOVE DOLPHINS.BY CARMA

Its true, Iam a tool and a homosexual.

FIN FANS ..IHOPE YOU ARE WATCHING ATANTA AND AZ PICTURE YOUSELF AS ATALANTA AND RAVENS AAS ARIZONA +33 POINTS. JET READY FOR THE END OF YOUR SEASON MONDAY.POSTED BY RAY.LEWIS ROCK

go away cuban menace you idiot! your jets SUCK!

YOU REMEMBER THE QOUTE FROM THE GOD FATHER.DO NOT YOU KNOW WHO I AM________________________________ ANY BODY WITH GOOD RECIPE FOR PORK CHOPS TO CELEBRATE RAVENS VICTORY ,IT'S ONLY BUSINESS SONNY,IT'S ONLY BUSINESS.POSTED BY ALFRADO

You got it wrong. If you notice the QB and team with the MOMENTUM and HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE smoked againg I say SMOKED the visiting team. Did you realize all the road teams were predicted as winning this weekend. Flacco will look like RYAN. Deer in the headlight, yes he had moments of greatness but wasn't enough to overcome the inspired defense. Perfect comparison of the Phins vs Ravens game. Flacco will fall. The over pursing Ravens D will get suckered in by the Vet Pennington and the master mind of OC Henning.
The crowd noise will be deftening
Post Script note:
Aretha Franklin will sing the National Anthem immediately followed by "R-E-S-P-E-C-T".
Miami DOLPHINS 27
Balt Ravens 16

YOU GOT IT WORN NOT ME ,ON MONDAY IN FIRST TURN OVER WILL END UP WITH TOUCH DOW FOR RAVENS.REMEMBER YOU STILL HAVE WORST SECOND OF ALL TIME OF R.SEASON IN NFL HISTORY.I HEAR THAT ARETHA FRANKLIN WILL SING.....DON'T CRY ANCHOVI....ALL INEED IS LOVE.......STOPE DREAMING POSTED BY ALFRADO

Hey Alfrado
Wanna go fishing....HAHAHAHAHAHA

Hey Alfrado
Just shut up and get in the boat.....HAHAHAHA

IAM GOING FISING ALL OF YOU ON MONDAY.RAYN OF ATLANTA LOST TODAY,CHAD.P NEXT IN FOR QIUCK DEFEAT,NOW EVERY ON GO TO BED AND SLEEP UNTILE FURTHER TOUCH DOWN.POSTED BY ALFRADO AND CLEMANZA

Good boy Alfrado,
Put your empty line in the water....HAHAHAHAHA

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