David Tyree: From Helmet Catches to Charity Bowling

It was the greatest catch in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. The New York Giants David Tyree out jumped New England Patriots Rodney Harrison, grabbed the ball with about five fingers and pinned it against his helmet and maintained control.

Tyree’s time in the NFL was not as picture perfect as that catch he made in the Giants Super Bowl XLII (42) win. Tyree found himself in trouble many times with the team and once with the law. But with the help of his family, he made a huge turnaround, which allowed him to make a game-changing play to defeat the Patriots.

Now Tyree has used his one shining moment to help make a change in the lives of others. Tuesday night David Tyree and Children of the City, held a charity-bowling event in downtown New York at Lucky Strike, featuring many current and former players of the New York Giants.

Tyree, who is the director of Player Development for the Giants, has been a contributor to Children of the City for over 10 years and a board member for 7 years.

Children of the City’s mission is to utilize home visits to connect individual children and families with programs and resources to help overcome poverty. It has been 36 years since Children of the City began in Sunset Park Brooklyn with the goal of responding to families coping with trauma, academic frustration and drug abuse.

“We deal with a lot of the social issues that are typical in neighborhoods that have a lot of poverty,” said founder Joyce Mattera

There were many Children of the City volunteers in attendance most of them former beneficiaries of the programs provided, including 17-year-old Kace Cintron. Kace has been in the program since she was three, and has been a volunteer since she was 13.

Kace made a passionate speech thanking everyone in attendance and sharing her back-story. Cintron still has nightmares of all the violence and drugs she was surrounded by before Children of the City stepped in.

“All I want to do is go to college to become a social worker, so I can help kids that are in my situation,” said Kace.

The New York Giants were will represented with many players looking like they came straight from organized team activities (OTA’s). The most popular Giant beside Tyree at tonight’s event was defensive end Olivier Vernon.

“David Tyree he does a great job in the community doing stuff like this, reaching out trying to show support where support is needed,” said Vernon. “Whatever I could do to be there and support the big blue it’s something I try and be apart of,” he added.

It was obvious throughout the event that David Tyree is admired and appreciated by not only the players he mentors but also by the volunteers and kids he is helping.

“David was a friend of the organization before he was a big name,” said Joyce Mattera. “He used his connection with the New York Giants to help raise awareness,” she added.

Tyree was not much a target for Eli Manning throughout most that season when they won the Super Bowl. But he chose the right moment to step up to the challenge and deliver.

He could not have known how great of a catch it would turn out to be or the impact it would have. But he sure knew how to use this spotlight to bring awareness to his cause.

“I know my platform has everything to do with the Super Bowl catch, I’m not that foolish,” said Tyree. “I always wanted to use it as a platform to glorify God and impact others.”

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