FB : Securing destiny: Four years after Super Bowl catch, Tyree uses fame to spread message

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm With one catch, David Tyree secured his spot in football history.During the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLII, on Feb. 3, 2008, the New York Giants were faced with a third-and-5 from the 44-yard line with less than two minutes remaining. The Giants trailed the then-undefeated New England Patriots, 14-10.Giants quarterback Eli Manning dropped back, evaded two Patriots pass rushers and lofted the ball high up into the air.With Patriots safety Rodney Harrison draped over him, Tyree leapt in the air, clutched the ball to his helmet and hit the ground with the ball hovering a mere inch from hitting the ground. A miraculous catch that helped New York complete a game-winning drive a few plays later.‘I felt it was a moment that was imparted upon me which gave me a tremendous platform and opportunity even outside of football to energize people’s lives, which has been really exciting,’ said Tyree, who was a wide receiver for Syracuse from 1998-2002.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTyree’s memorable play is being revisited this week as the Giants and Patriots are set to meet again in Super Bowl XLVI this Sunday. It was a career-defining catch for the former SU wide receiver. Just not in the way many think. Tyree played just one season in the NFL following the Giants’ Super Bowl win in 2008, and he has used the catch to pursue endeavors in various ministries and charities to forge hopeful and positive relationships in society.For Tyree’s new view to take shape, though, his life needed to be completely restored.‘Ultimately, it was really just about the grind to me and going through my journey, and I finally found that sense of contentment,’ Tyree said, ‘and it kind of just led up to that moment in 2007, where I like to say eternity met time.’While at Syracuse, Tyree never thought about what the NFL could bring him. The 6-foot, 206-pound receiver was slightly undersized for the position, and his college stat-line proved it.Just 39 catches for 655 yards in his first three seasons at Syracuse.‘I guess I found out that I wasn’t the prototype wide receiver,’ Tyree said. ‘I always felt like there was more I could have done there, but for me it was always about being a complete football player, and that’s why I got into special teams.’Tyree’s effort was never in question. He embraced any role given to him and was one of the hardest working players on the field.‘I knew once I got into the secondary I could run blind because he would put his body in there to block for me,’ former Syracuse running back Dee Brown said. ‘He would sacrifice the catch to make a key block to spring one of the running backs or the quarterback.’In a collegiate career that Tyree told The New York Times was marked by drugs and alcohol, he may have found his biggest savior during his freshman year when he met his eventual wife, Leilah. During his SU career, Leilah became pregnant with their first son.The new responsibility made Tyree consider becoming an NFL player. Despite his mediocre college numbers, he was drafted by the Giants in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.But his addictions caught up with him in 2004, when he was arrested for drug possession. His relationship with Leilah took a turn for the worse, and when he was released from prison, Leilah told him she was pregnant again.Tyree needed to make a decision to change his behavior or risk not seeing his children. At that point, Tyree said, he found faith, allowing him to change his ways and become an all-around better person — on and off the field.‘It’s really just an expression of the changed man that God has given me,’ Tyree said. ‘I just try to honor God through that and whether it’s on the football field, through my marriage or raising six children, everything I believe, it permeates from that.’In the NFL, Tyree found his greatest success on special teams.Tyree made 77 tackles in his six-year professional career and earned a 2005 NFL Pro Bowl appearance.Still, his greatest moment came as a wide receiver. Super Bowl XLII is the moment he will forever be known for, even if he only made four catches during the 2007 regular season.‘It’s like when the coaches tell you, if you just hustle good things will happen. He’s one of those guys,’ Brown said. ‘He’s just going to do everything he’s supposed to do and good things are going to happen, and inevitably, it did for him.’After making one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, Tyree dealt with more hardship. During training camp in 2008, he suffered a meniscus injury and was sidelined for four to six months.He was eventually cut from the Giants and missed the entire season.The Baltimore Ravens signed Tyree in 2009. Despite being hampered with numerous groin and hamstring injuries, he was productive on special teams.But through the adversity, Tyree decided that he could do more off the field.‘It gave me the fortitude, and it rearranged my priorities in life,’ Tyree said. ‘Between my faith and my growth and maturity as a man, the game is going to fade away. And I had a piece of insurance that if I never played again I was going to be extremely fine, and not just fine but excited about it.’Tyree now lives in Wayne, N.J., and works with children through numerous philanthropic efforts. In 2006, Tyree and Leilah started a group called Next In Line, which served to mentor children ages 12-18 once a month, but it closed its doors in 2009.Tyree caused controversy last summer when he came out in opposition of same-sex marriage in a video. Tyree’s video for the National Organization for Marriage came on the heels of messages in support of marriage equality from former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan and Steve Tisch, Giants chairman and executive vice president.‘Everybody has a choice at the end of the day, and I think that’s what it boils down to,’ Tyree said. ‘It was just kind of an honor, and I think I really needed to take that opportunity to reinforce that backbone of culture anyway, of all civilizations starts with marriage.’He also sits on the board for the Children of the City group in Southwest Brooklyn, an organization that provides support for children in the city and guides them to success.Abby Meadows, the director of development and outreach for the program, said Tyree has been able to make a splash with his devotion to the children.‘David has been involved with (Children of the City) for several years and has devoted countless hours of his personal time to speak to the children and spread the word about the work of the organization,’ Meadows said in an email.Tyree feels the catch gave him the appropriate exposure to further reach the lives of others and promote the benefits of positive decision-making.With faith restored, Tyree continues to try and help those who try to conquer their own challenges, just as Tyree has done in the past.‘The catch really wasn’t for me, it wasn’t about me,’ Tyree said. ‘It was about having a visible presence in some way, shape or form to reach other people and touch their lives.’adtredin@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

Despite blowout loss last week, Syracuse women’s basketball stays in Top 25

first_img Published on December 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Despite a 105-84 blowout loss to Texas A&M last week, Syracuse (9-4) remains in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the eighth consecutive week of the season. The Orange on Monday afternoon dropped six spots to No. 25 from No. 19 in the Week 8 poll.SU had won five straight games each by at least 11 points, outscoring opponents by an average of 32.8 points over the streak. Last Tuesday, SU smoked Old Dominion 92-66 in the Florida Sunshine Classic behind 20-point performances from both Alexis Peterson and Brittney Sykes. Last Wednesday, however, four players combined to score more than SU did as a whole and the Aggies made 34 free throws in their 105-84 triumph.Peterson still leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring. She’s averaging 22.9 points per game after scoring 27 points against ODU and a season-high 34 points in the loss to Texas A&M.Seven ACC teams are ranked: No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Louisville, No. 11 Miami, No. 15 Duke, No. 19 Virginia Tech and No. 25 Syracuse. Four-time defending national champion Connecticut held the top spot.Syracuse opens conference play on Thursday at No. 8 Louisville.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more