CBS 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on CBS 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – I might as well be straight up front. In 30 years, I’ve never written about a football player whose ONLY job is tackling on special teams. But then again, football players like Blake Costanzo only come every 30 years.
This guy is a throwback to a time when players played for nothing and sold real estate in the off-season to support their football “hobby.” When special teams Coach Brad Seely was hired by Jim Harbaugh, the first number he dialed was Blake Costanzo’s. Number 51’s ubiquitous presence around the football is mind-numbing because nobody is able to block him.
In Saturday’s win over the Saints, Costanzo recovered one fumble and forced another. Both resulted in field goals. What was the final score again? Today he told me it was the best game of his life, given the circumstances. But it seems to me that he gravitates towards the return man every opportunity he gets. He sheds blockers like Newt sheds wives. He’s a blue collar kid who worked for everything he’s got, and has been kicked to the sidelines of pro football enough to value what he has. Diva? Move on to the next locker. Escalade? Park it. Just give him a mattress to sleep on and it’s all good.
Costanzo is the driving force behind the Tony Montana special team’s theme song that has gone viral. The would-be tacklers line up behind David Akers and move not-so-rhythmically to the tune from the film, Scarface. In the movie, Montana storms from his office wielding an M16 assault rifle with a grenade launcher. On the field, Costanzo just launches his body. In fact, if you listen closely to last week’s game, you can hear Costanzo scream “So hello to my little friend!” as he launches himself into Darren Sproles who promptly fumbles the football.
Every so-called expert has a “key” to Sunday’s NFC Championship. And after the game, when you finish dissecting the turnover ratio, the sacks, and the miracle touchdown pass, think about impact special teams had on the game. I think you will find your answer to why the 49ers won. David Akers and Andy Lee shrink the field and dominate field position. Blake and his gang deserve a Rolex for sending those guys to Hawaii.
If want you want to know the pulse of the 49ers, talk with Blake Costanzo. And if you can’t, check out my interview with him on this website.
See you on TV.