By Lee Hubbard
Desmond Bishop is back with a super bowl crown. He’s in his glory too. Like South Africa’s famed Bishop Desmond Tutu, they both were tooted and saluted by their governments. They received kudos from their hometowns when they returned from world conquering feats.
Desmond Bishop was born and raised in San Francisco in Bay View Hunters Point. He left the bay area in 2007, to work in Wisconsin but he came back to San Francisco City Hall this week as a Super Bowl Champion.
Bishop, a starting linebacker for the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, was given a city proclamation by District 10 supervisor Malia Cohen and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee pronounced February 15, “Desmond Bishop day.”
“Desmond Bishop is a product of the Southeast part of San Francisco and he represents all of the good things that come from the area,” said Supervisor Cohen, “I am proud to honor Desmond Bishop during Black History month and I want to honor his achievement.”
Desmond Bishop is the son of Sherri and Dennis Bishop. Dennis played football at Illinois and professionally in the United States Football League. Desmond’s grandfather and family patriarch Curly Bishop Sr. was a well known business owner, who owned Bishop’s Market for over three decades on Revere and Keith Streets in Bay View Hunters Point.
Bishop attended Visitation Valley Middle school in San Francisco, before moving with his parents to Fairfield, where he attended Fairfield High School. Later, he would attend City College of San Francisco, playing football on a Junior College national championship team. He transferred and played two years for the UC Berkeley Golden Bears. During his senior year, Bishop led the Pac 10 in tackles. He got drafted in the sixth round in 2007 by the Green Bay Packers and he has been a consistent performer for the Packers, culminating with his standout play in the recently concluded Super Bowl.
“Winning the Super Bowl and the reaction I have received from people has been a high you cannot describe,” said Bishop. “It feels good to be recognized in a city I was born and raised in.”
Bishop’s play in the Super Bowl was critical, as he made several stand plays. He made eight tackles, three tackles for a loss and he recovered the key fourth quarter fumble from Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall that led to the Packers final touchdown in the game.
“I knew the play they were running and when I saw the ball pop out, I knew this was my opportunity for me to scoop it up and try to score,” said Bishop. “But, after I got the ball, l played it safe and just fell on the ball.”
Bishop fondly remembers growing up in San Francisco and he gives back to the community with his Desmond Bishop football camp. He is an active supporter of PAL sports and the Boys and Girls Clubs. He said that playing in the NFL and being successful is something that’s reachable by black youth in San Francisco, because his success is an example of this.
“If I can do it anyone can,” said Bishop. “Whatever you want to do from football player, singer, business owner to doctor, you have to just go for it and the sky is the limit. You just have to keep your nose clean, out of trouble and be focused. If in school get the job done in the classroom and things will happen.”