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Interview With the 49ers' Vernon Davis: 'Hail Mary'

Interview With the 49ers' Vernon Davis: 'Hail Mary'

Date: Dec 12 2008

Themes: Interview, Sports

Grammar: Gerunds vs. Infinitives


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Vernon Davis is a star tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, but not too long ago, the 24-year-old was also an art student at the University of Maryland. Nowadays, in addition to painting and the NFL, Davis does a lot of work with charities. Last week, Jason talked to him on the phone about his life on and off the football field.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Vernon:  Hey, how you doin’ man?

Jason:  Uh, good. How are you?

Vernon:  I’m pretty good.

Jason:  I hear you went to school on Tuesday.

Vernon:  Yeah, I did. So, it was a kid that was in second grade and I had to go with him to school and pretty much what we had to do was make up workouts and stuff like that for the rest of the kids.

Jason:  Oh wow. So let’s see, you majored in studio art in college. I just wondered if your background as an artist affects the way you play football and if art still plays a role in your life right now.

Vernon:  I paint or draw or whatever it may be every chance that I get. Once you start painting you probably…like me, for me…I sit there for hours and I’m looking at my painting from different angles and, you know, I just can’t stop looking at it. You know, I want to get up because I get tired…

Jason:  Yeah.

Vernon:  ...but I can’t leave the painting without pretty much finishing it, you know, so it can be perfect. I want it to be perfect. And how that translates to football or rolls over to football is that, you know, everything I do on the football field, I like to be perfect. I like to win. I don’t want to lose and it just makes you competitive, I think.

Jason:  Totally. You’re a tight end and tight ends do a lot of things, but one of the things they do is catch passes, and I wondered if you’ve ever caught a Hail Mary pass and if you could talk about what a Hail Mary pass is.

Vernon:  It’s pretty much like a bomb in the air. They also call it a bomb. The quarterback just throws the ball as hard as he can.

Jason:  Totally. And when do you use it?

Vernon:  You can use it in the fourth quarter when you have like 10 or 15 seconds on the clock.

Jason:  Have any Hail Mary passes come your way lately?

Vernon:  I actually had a Hail Mary when we played Dallas. It was 43 yards.

Jason:  But it’s pretty hard to catch a Hail Mary, right? It’s kind of a long shot?

Vernon:  Hmm…Not really. You just…I mean, if you work on it, no, it’s not hard.

Jason:  Oh cool.

Vernon:  I pretty much work on it every day.


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Vernon Davis explains that when the game is almost over, and you only have one more chance to win, you can throw a long pass all the way down the field to try to score. That’s called a Hail Mary because you’re basically praying that you win the game. You can use the phrase Hail Mary to describe any last-minute attempt to succeed.

If you ask someone who is really attractive and who you don’t really think you have a chance with on a date, that’s a Hail Mary. If you get bad grades all semester and then try to get do well on the final to pass the class that’s a Hail Mary.
A couple of weeks ago, Vernon caught a Hail Mary in a game. Jason thinks that sounds hard to do, but Vernon says he’s practiced it so much it’s not all that hard for him. Where does he get that confidence? Art, actually. Once Vernon starts painting, he won’t stop until the painting is finished. Vernon says being an artist makes him more competitive. Luckily, he does charity work to relieve the stress of being a perfectionist

When’s the last time you had to try a Hail Mary?

For more with Vernon Davis, read the rest of Jason’s interview, visit Vernon’s website or take a look at his blog.



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Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Last tries to achieve something you want. Smile

 What is your opinion ?

04:37 PM Dec 12 2008 |



I know what Hail Mary mean, to try hard at the very end.

It's so useful in our oral English. We can learn so many new words here. I love you.

06:38 AM Dec 12 2008 |




ooo…i see, Hail Mary : any last-minute attempt to succeed.
i had to try a hail mary when I was in class last wednesday, it was my english class with my teacher and my classmates, my teacher told me to open the book and work individually (but actually it for work in pairs lesson) and she aksed me to try reveal the topic about but I was nervous because i wasn’t confident to speak english, i was scared about my messy grammar, vocab, preposition or etc.
i just prayed i got progress in english.
well, i tried to talk about the topic, i thought i spoke too fast and i dont care about what she will say to me then. he he
few minutes later….
and finally she only said “no problems in speaking english but can you speak loudly a little bit?”
oh my god, then i think i had no problem about preposition, grammar or etc. he he he
actually, my english is sooooooooo bad. any wrong with my teacher???

06:25 AM Dec 12 2008 |

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