David Tyree’s NFL career was anything but spectaculuar. In seven seasons (six with the New York Giants), he caught just 54 passes for 650 and four touchdowns. The New Jersey native’s life changed in Super Bowl XLII, however, when he made what is arguably the most amazing play in NFL history.
You all know the play. “Catch 42” as it has come to be known, gave the Giants a first down with 58 seconds remaining and, four plays later, Plaxico Burress caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown to put the G-Men over the undefeated New England Patriots, 17-14.
While Tyree will be forever remembered for his unfathomable reception against his helmet, the former sixth-round pick is making strides to improve the lives of others.
Before his retirement in 2009, Tyree, along with his wife Leilah, started Next in Line, a project that opened its doors in March of 2006 with the hopes of having a positive impact on the younger generation. They closed the doors on the venture shortly thereafter in 2009, but that hasn’t kept Tyree from continuing to contribute to society in a positive manner.
According to Tyree’s personal website:
Now serving with International Children’s Support Foundation (ICF) working diligently behind the scenes as well as in public outreaches to raise awareness of God’s love & the impact of positive choices.
David and his wife beautiful Leilah sit on the board of Children of the City who has successfully served the children and families of Southwest Brooklyn for more than two decades by changing the culture of poverty through education & outreach. David and Leilah have been married for 7 years and together are privileged to raise 6 amazing children! This growth has stirred up a zealous passion to serve others in restoring their marriages as well as train their children to remain steadfast in the Lord Jesus.
Tyree has been very vocal about his faith, sometimes ruffling some feathers in the process. He feels quite strongly about his beliefs and is not afraid to share them when he deems it necessary, for better or for worse in some people’s eyes.
Meanwhile, he still contributes to the NFL, this time in the Player Engagement department at the league offices in Manhattan. As this Yahoo article details, Tyree works with former players and informs them on the opportunities they now have available to them with their professional football career at its end.
He is forever seeking to help people and every opportunity in his post-NFL career has provided him with the chance to do that; to make an impact—a positive one that will help lead the people he comes in contact with head in the right direction. Even if it means using The Helmet Catch as a platform to do so.
“I think that’s the great thing about the game we play, how you can impact lives,” Tyree told Yahoo’s Les Carpenter, in reference to a man’s story about tearing his Achillies when witnessing Tyree’s historic catch. “Hopefully there will be a better way to impact lives than a torn Achilles but they got a kick out of it, so I did too.”