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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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Alfrado
You are totally clueless...thats right just keep thinking you are gonna catch a fish...instead you will be sleeping with the fishes....HAHAHAHAHA

BREAKING NEWS.....ALL DOLPHINS PLAYERS ARE GOING TO SEE MARLEY AND ME .then after that they are going to see bedtime stories. all that after lossing big to the ravens on monday.posted by EX fin fan

Excellent story Mando. Bess should have a big day tomorrow against injured Baltimore corners.

Whats your problem Willi

ravens; 45 dolphins:3 posted by me

Davone Bess fought his way out of tough times and has a golden opportunity. I hope he leaves the negatives of the past behind and focuses on being the best NFL player he can be because this is the top level with the biggest pay day. He can help his family and do what he loves.

I was hesitant about Bess early on because a lot of people were touting him before he did much. But as the season went on and with Camarillo going down, he took advantage of every opportunity and contributed in many ways. He caught passes for 1st downs, made some big plays and did a nice job on punt returns.

Bess looks like a player that will be around for us for a few years. 54 receptions for an undrafted rookie is pretty impressive. He's becoming that slot guy with that quickness and low running style to pick up those extra tough yards.

We have the quick possession guy in Bess and the fast spread the field guy in Ginn. We need a big target at WR, an upgrade over Wilford and even Camarillo coming off of knee surgery. Sign TJ Houshmandzadeh!

My gut feeling is we are going to lose tomorrow. Probably get beaten badly. As much as we are looking forward to the game it will be a buzz kill.

Great season though.

i agree with you FOX .it's going to be big fat lose tomorrow.after last year record any thing will do .by carma

marley and me

I wish somebody would punch the Ravens in the nose. They are such bullies...

get ready kids.bedtime stories .once upon a time the anchovi dolphins were dreaming.........pla PLA PLA PLA PLA......................UNTIL RAY HIS SECOND TUCH DOWN OF THE GAME ANY WAY RAVENS ARE NUMORO ONO CON SALSA. POSTED BY SHERK.P

I DONT AGREE WITH YOUR MVP SELECTION BUT THIS STORY IS GREAT BECAUSE I TO HAVE BEEN INCARCERATED MORE TIMES THEN I EVER IMAGINED ALL PETTY BUT ENOUGH TO MAKE ME REGRET NOT PURSUING BASKETBALL BECUSE I HAVE ALWAYS SHUT PEOPLE UP WHEN THEY SAY I CANT PLAY WITH TOP LINE PLAYERS SO I CAN RELATE REAL WELL WITH BESS AND HOPE HE IS A DOLPHIN FOR LIFE WE DONT NEED MUCH MORE GIVE A TEAM WITH A BUNCH OF BESSES WHO JUST GO OUT AND ENJOY THE GAME FIRST AND IT WILL REWARD YOU IN THE END GO MIAMI TELL RAY LEWIS I WILL TAKE ROTH IN A CAGE MATCH STRAIGHT BEAT HIS ASS SILLY.

PIZZA AND ME ANCHOVI AND ME RAY AND YOU CHAD.P AND RAYN DOLPHINS AND WHALES POSTED BYAFRADO

ICAN'T WAIT TO SEE ALL THIRD AND FOURTH GRADE CELE IN THE GAME AL FLORIDA STYLE AND ALL BANDWAGON FIN FANS LEAVING AFTER THE LOSS' POSTED BY COZMO

I love people using my post name and posting inappropriate comments.

Can you be anymore inappropriate? Seriously, young people might actually look at this blog. Grow up. If you do not like a comment scroll by it.

Please know that if crap like this keeps happening, it is easy for the tech dept at the herald to find your contact info.

Hayden
I agree with you 100%. The abuse is ramped especially during the live game blogs. The problem lies not with the poster per se but with Armando, who exercises no control over the blog in that his main interest is the number of blogs to make himself look good to his publishers. No doubt his bosses do not review his blogs, or else more control would be prudently established.

Hayden, I've got your back. The inappropriate comment has been deleted.

Mike, sometimes it is better to hold your peace. That way people don't realize how little you know.

Its not how little I know mAndo, its what I observe, you yourself have to admit you let the BS run wild during game day, allowing all the inappropriate comment to be posted. I appreciate yours and others insightful comments and in the past have asked you during game time to put a stop to it which you ignore. I enjoy your columns and museings and glad to see you FINALLY support the DOLPHINS. Thank you, but please be more insightful than critical.

Thanks Mando. SO MANY people enjoy your blog and I just did not want to see people turned off by anything. Yourself and the Herald is always the place I go to first for info on the Fins.

thanks Hayden.

Mike W: With all due respect, this blog has a zero tolerance policy on curse words. It's in the anti-spam program I requested for it. And although I do not, cannot, monitor the blog 24-7, whenever I check back and there are inappropriate comments, I delete them.

On any given gameday live blog, there are 1500 comments on here. It is not humanly possible for me to watch the game, take notes, comment on the blog and police everyone at the same time. So if one or two comments that offend get in, that is unfortunate. I do the best I can.

Meanwhile, the number of comments has ZERO to do with the popularity of the blog. You have no idea how many people email me privately to share thoughts on things they read in the blog. Those folks simply don't want to comment on here and that is fine. That is NOT how the Herald monitors the blog's success.

So please, don't make statements of fact that simply have no basis in fact.

There is no way I can imagine how many blogs there is during the game and I know you have your hands full. You do a better job of covering the Phins games and practice then any writer for any publication concerning the Phins.
That being said I think it would go a LONG way during game day to ask your bloggers to refrain from comments of a personal nature not relating to football. I think if during the game you would assert a little bit of authoritarian control and ask posters to refrain from inapproapriate comments it would go a long way. I KNOW there is a program to prevent profanity, unless it spelled with @ or other symbols in it.
I follow your blog every, EVERY Sunday and have only recently given input. As Hayden said earlier, it's the FIRST place I check when I get on daily, every day. Thanks.

get ready for the loss tomorrow guys :(

ANOTHER HOME TEAM WIN!!!!!
So much for MVP Manning helping his team.
All road teams were favored in the Wildcard play off games. So far the two home teams WON!!!! HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE BABY, HOME FIELD ADVANAGE!!!! A confident defense. A PRO bowl caliber and MVP Runner up VETERAN QB, with the highest completion percentage in the HISTORY of the NFL. LET THE CROWD ROAR!!!!!
Miami DOLPHINS 27
Balt Ravens 16
WHY NOT US!!!

oh my god.the colts are out.what a nice thing to see .second in line ....say after me dolphins .by miko

Baltimore fans are running scared. Why else would they be here on a DOLPHINS blog? No support in their media or fan base, they fear facing the DOLPHINS.
Miami 27
Balt 16
Running Scared

Fins are getting NO LOVE, just a bunch of Ravens highlights on all the networks for the last week.

Deion Sanders just said.. "The Ravens Offense Will Dismantle the Dolphins Defense"!

Porter will decapitate Flacco... in a few hours it will be the Ravens getting dismantled.

I love the way the blog became about Hayden and not about the topic of the blog. Not surprising.

Go Phins!

BWS, don't worry about it man! Two home winners today that no one said would win. I am nervous but I am confident about today! Like the old saying goes, How do you get respect? you E A R N IT!!!

Go fins!

As for the blog being too vulgar at times Armando, eh, I think we are mostly adults here and this childishness should stop.

This is our year i really feel it it we beat Baltimore we will beat pitt, and play San Diego to get to the superbowl. Chris Berman is a moron his picks were Colts Eagles Super Bowl i met that guy he hate phins, and he need to keep drinking. Trent Dilfer a loser he think he so great he won 1 superbowl what make hinm the man.Keep doubting us we will take the train alll the way to the superbowl in Tampa. Just like me i didn't start phins def against Jets if i did i be 450 dollars richer oh well. Bess is amazing he will be a profile wide receiver in this league we could use one more receiver say Chad Johnson, or Tj anyway go phins shock the world. Phins 21 Ravens 17

WHAT! Armando didnt vote CP10 for MVP???

CP10 getting ripped off by the MVP voters really has me P.O.'ed!!

Who was truly more valuable to their team? The guy that took a 13-3 team that is LOADED with talent and turned them into a 12-4/1 and done team in the playoffs? Who took a pretty bad 1-15 team and turned them into an 11-5 team while having one of his best statistical years ever for his personal best and probably the 2nd best season a QB ever had in Miami. (All hail Marino 85)

With all the writers mancrush boys getting beat yesterday (Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan/Michael Turner) you know I will be rooting especially hard for CP10 today.

Todays game is the Superbowl to me, I want vindication for CP10 more than anything and it will come with a Dolphin win.

Mando, SHAME on you if you had a chance to vote for CP10 and didnt do it. But then again this is Florida and he is a chad so I can see how you could blow it.

Dolphins forever!

PS - dont you just LOVE all the drama that is coming out of Jestsville these days! Fins in the playoffs, Pats knocked out like Brady and the Jets in turmoil. With a nod do Miamian Jackie Gleason, "how sweet it is..."

WHAT! Armando didnt vote CP10 for MVP???

CP10 getting ripped off by the MVP voters really has me P.O.'ed!!

Who was truly more valuable to their team? The guy that took a 13-3 team that is LOADED with talent and turned them into a 12-4/1 and done team in the playoffs? Who took a pretty bad 1-15 team and turned them into an 11-5 team while having one of his best statistical years ever for his personal best and probably the 2nd best season a QB ever had in Miami. (All hail Marino 85)

With all the writers mancrush boys getting beat yesterday (Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan/Michael Turner) you know I will be rooting especially hard for CP10 today.

Todays game is the Superbowl to me, I want vindication for CP10 more than anything and it will come with a Dolphin win.

Mando, SHAME on you if you had a chance to vote for CP10 and didnt do it. But then again this is Florida and he is a chad so I can see how you could blow it.

Dolphins forever!

PS - dont you just LOVE all the drama that is coming out of Jestsville these days! Fins in the playoffs, Pats knocked out like Brady and the Jets in turmoil. With a nod do Miamian Jackie Gleason, "how sweet it is..."

WHAT! Armando didnt vote CP10 for MVP???

CP10 getting ripped off by the MVP voters really has me P.O.'ed!!

Who was truly more valuable to their team? The guy that took a 13-3 team that is LOADED with talent and turned them into a 12-4/1 and done team in the playoffs? Who took a pretty bad 1-15 team and turned them into an 11-5 team while having one of his best statistical years ever for his personal best and probably the 2nd best season a QB ever had in Miami. (All hail Marino 85)

With all the writers mancrush boys getting beat yesterday (Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan/Michael Turner) you know I will be rooting especially hard for CP10 today.

Todays game is the Superbowl to me, I want vindication for CP10 more than anything and it will come with a Dolphin win.

Mando, SHAME on you if you had a chance to vote for CP10 and didnt do it. But then again this is Florida and he is a chad so I can see how you could blow it.

Dolphins forever!

PS - dont you just LOVE all the drama that is coming out of Jestsville these days! Fins in the playoffs, Pats knocked out like Brady and the Jets in turmoil. With a nod do Miamian Jackie Gleason, "how sweet it is..."

WHAT! Armando didnt vote CP10 for MVP???

CP10 getting ripped off by the MVP voters really has me P.O.'ed!!

Who was truly more valuable to their team? The guy that took a 13-3 team that is LOADED with talent and turned them into a 12-4/1 and done team in the playoffs? Who took a pretty bad 1-15 team and turned them into an 11-5 team while having one of his best statistical years ever for his personal best and probably the 2nd best season a QB ever had in Miami. (All hail Marino 85)

With all the writers mancrush boys getting beat yesterday (Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan/Michael Turner) you know I will be rooting especially hard for CP10 today.

Todays game is the Superbowl to me, I want vindication for CP10 more than anything and it will come with a Dolphin win.

Mando, SHAME on you if you had a chance to vote for CP10 and didnt do it. But then again this is Florida and he is a chad so I can see how you could blow it.

Dolphins forever!

PS - dont you just LOVE all the drama that is coming out of Jestsville these days! Fins in the playoffs, Pats knocked out like Brady and the Jets in turmoil. With a nod do Miamian Jackie Gleason, "how sweet it is..."

WHAT! Armando didnt vote CP10 for MVP???

CP10 getting ripped off by the MVP voters really has me P.O.'ed!!

Who was truly more valuable to their team? The guy that took a 13-3 team that is LOADED with talent and turned them into a 12-4/1 and done team in the playoffs? Who took a pretty bad 1-15 team and turned them into an 11-5 team while having one of his best statistical years ever for his personal best and probably the 2nd best season a QB ever had in Miami. (All hail Marino 85)

With all the writers mancrush boys getting beat yesterday (Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan/Michael Turner) you know I will be rooting especially hard for CP10 today.

Todays game is the Superbowl to me, I want vindication for CP10 more than anything and it will come with a Dolphin win.

Mando, SHAME on you if you had a chance to vote for CP10 and didnt do it. But then again this is Florida and he is a chad so I can see how you could blow it.

Dolphins forever!

PS - dont you just LOVE all the drama that is coming out of Jestsville these days! Fins in the playoffs, Pats knocked out like Brady and the Jets in turmoil. With a nod do Miamian Jackie Gleason, "how sweet it is..."

alert alert today is the day that all fin fans will go to sleep early from blue ray lewis effect. most over rated QB CHAD.P AND FAVR .....POSTED BY CARMA

I AGREE WITH YOU CARMA ------------------BY TONY

This team is reminding me of the 2003 marlins, not one super star in the group, not smart enough to know that there overmatched in most of there games, all they do is win. If the fish win today you might have to put your money on these guys.and what a great story it would be, at least you all would have something new to talk about for the next 30 years instead of "the perfect season".......posted by a jets,jets,jets fan.

IT'S AMAZING WHAT SOME PEPOLE THINKE OF GREAT STORY TO CALL IT PERFECT SEASON BASED ON 11-5 RECORD .NEW ENGLAND HAD PERECT SEASONS .THE ONLY GOOD THING THIS SEASON IS TUNA LEADIG THE TEAM TO BE GREAT FUTURE NFL TEAM.DAN MARINO ALSO WAS WAY OVER RATED PLAYING AGINST BAD TEAMES .CP WAY BETTER QB BUT MVP. DOLPHIN FANS GET GRIP ON REALITY. POSTED:BY LOGIC

You can tell who the Ravens fans on here are cause they can't spell and don't know how to turn off the Caps Lock.

Ravens fans dont have much else to be happy about cause they know B'more is a crime infested dung hole of a city. The polluted waters of Fells Point will never compare to South Beach.

I'll be at the game today to watch your team self destruct in the 4th quarter when they are getting blown out and realize they have to go back to your hell hole of a city.... Hahahaha

Mr:BWS. I LIVE IN SOUTH FLORIDA TOO ......SO SO SO SO POSTE BY LOGIC

Yesterday the whole world got to see Matt Ryan exposed as a mediocre talent who played for a mediocre college in a mediocre division and had mediocre results; except for the important games - in those he folded early.
Today it is Joe Flacco's turn.

Go to NFL.com, search stats and compare Flacco to Kyle Orton 2008 season. Identical.
Now read headlines under Orton's name: Bears GM announced the day after the season that the Bears are searching for a qb.
That offensive production is not good enough for the Bears.
The whole Flacco thing started on a bet between a journalist and an owner. The bet was that a journalist, that had never seen Flacco play, could influence the sportswriters and therefore the fans and therefore the owners into believeing he was a top talent.
He has a strong arm no question. But he couldn't even start at Pitt a mediocre football school like BC.

The Ravens Defense is so good that I believe they will not only win today but I believe they will win the Super Bowl.
The fu@ked up thing is that Ravens fans and players alike will tell you that Flacco is a horrible NFL QB.
He's a cool guy. He's wealthy. He's rolling with it.
Troy Smith won the Ravens job in camp and was injured right before the season opener. That's how Flacco got the job.

yo masters, how they hanging bro????

They empty.
Been hittin it at least once sometimes twice a day.
Doing crazy transactions with interest rates so low.
Have not been able to post.

I will only talk about the positive of the Dolphs today no matter what.

WEll good for you bro..

master beater

who like to eat calamari .does the cuban menace know any thing about football.... posted by havana menace

Davone Bess, in my opinion the best free agent of this nfl year. Coming out of Hawaii, being colt brennans favorite target, and adjusting so well to Chad Pennington. Long future ahead of you Davone! Keep up the good work!

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