Shutdown Corner - NFL

There may be no crying in baseball, but evidently football players haven't gotten the memo.

Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis(notes) gave such an impassioned pregame speech before the San Francisco 49ers' Monday Night game that it left him and some teammates in tears. The unscripted talk came immediately before the national anthem and seemed to have a big impact on the team: San Francisco ran over the Arizona Cardinals 27-6.

Davis told reporters after that he felt his teammates needed a spark if they wanted to make a playoff run after a disappointing 3-7 start:

"It just comes from the heart. You have to feel it. You have to feel it deep down inside. [...] I've never been to the playoffs, never been to the Super Bowl. I want it bad."

Teammates appreciated Davis' oratorical skills but wouldn't comment on what was said. "We have a very emotional team," running back Brian Westbrook(notes) said. "We have guys that like to get fired up, like to go out there and have a cry every now and then. That's just how some people get ready for the game." 

[Photos: See more of the emotional Vernon Davis]

The crying jag might seem to be out of place on the football field, but I dig it. Contrast Davis' emotions to Derek Anderson(notes) of the Cardinals laughing on the sideline while his team was getting blown out. Which guy would you rather have on your team?

[Rewind: Jets coach breaks down after loss]

If the pregame tears continue working, expect Davis to continue the pregame speeches. But if he fails to muster up the waterworks again, the team could always buy "Terms of Endearment" on DVD and run it on a loop before kickoff.

The 4-7 49ers are just one game out of first place in the lowly NFC West. 

Thanks, The Big Lead.

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