NFL STAR TO HEADLINE ANNUAL KICKOFF LUNCHEON
April 4, 2022. Louisville, KY. – Pro Football Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Terrell Davis will be the featured speaker at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s annual They’re Off! Luncheon on Friday, April 22. The star running back for the Denver Broncos helped lead the team to victories at Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. Davis was named the NFL’s MVP in 1998 and is the Broncos all-time leading rusher, with 7,607 rushing yards. He was given the nickname “T.D.” by players, fans and the media (denoting the initials of his first and last name, as well as being an abbreviation for touchdown).
The luncheon, first held in 1957, serves as the time-honored kick-off to each year’s Kentucky Derby Festival. It’s the second-oldest event on the Festival schedule.
Davis was drafted by the Broncos in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft, where he had an historic career from 1995 to 2001. He was sent to the Pro Bowl in the 1996, ’97 and ’98 seasons. He popularized the “Mile High Salute,” a military-style salute given to fans and teammates in celebration of a touchdown. Davis was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2007 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017. After his days on the field in the NFL, the football legend has been a broadcaster for NFL Network and Westwood One Radio, as well as an entrepreneur, founding the company Defy. He is also considered one of the top athlete motivational speakers.
Davis’ success on the field is a living example that you don’t need a clear path laid out for you to score big in life. The Denver Broncos brought him on during the sixth-round draft as a virtual unknown. He started training camp as a sixth-string tailback and was not expected to make the final cut. Almost immediately, Davis earned the position of starting running back for the season opener. Within only two years, he became a key contributor in Denver’s two Super Bowl-winning seasons in 1997 and 1998.
Because of his appreciation for being given a break, he created the non-profit organization, The Terrell Davis Salute the Kids Foundation. He believes that every child deserves a chance to excel and often all they need is a little support and an opportunity to shine. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. on April 22 in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House Hotel – site of the festive event since 1974. This year’s event will also feature the presentation of the Heartland Volunteer of the Year Award and the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award for service to the community. Tickets are $85 each or $680 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (502) 584-FEST or visit KDF.org.
Davis joins Hannah Storm, Mike Tirico, Seth Davis, Jay Bilas, Kenny Mayne, Dick Vitale, Terry Bradshaw, Erin Andrews, Bill Walton, Archie Manning, Greg Gumbel, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Larry King, Bob Costas, Robin Roberts, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, Phil Simms and Howard Cosell in a long list of luminaries who have entertained They’re Off! Luncheon audiences for more than 60 years.
Contributing sponsors for the event are Fifth Third Bank, Heartland and The Galt House Hotel. Official HR Company: HR Affiliates. Media Sponsor: Business First.