New York, NY–- David Tyree gathered some of his friends and former colleagues on Tuesday night, as he hosted his third annual charity bowling event in conjunction with Children of the City and The Legacy Center. Tyree and the two New York-based service organizations hosted fans and supporters in an event which celebrated the difference being made in local communities in regards to youth education and assistance of families in need. It also gave those hoping to get behind these causes a chance to meet some of their favorite athletes while at the same time rolling some strikes, spares and gutter balls.
“I think the number one thing that we really need right now is hope,” said Tyree, whose impact and influence has apparently not decreased since his retirement from the NFL and even further removed from his notorious 2007 Super Bowl helmet catch. “I think that because of various circumstances that we find ourselves in –- whether it’s the economy or crime –- the fact is that life is hard and it presents challenges, road bumps and obstacles, and if we have a hope that means we have an anchor.”
Tyree partnered with Children of the City before he became a New York Giants hero, and it was this particular organization to which he donated most of his time directly after he became a local celebrity, and they have stuck together as that celebrity has faded gradually over time.
-Joyce Mattera, Founder and Executive Director of Children of the City
While fans marveled at the presence of these athletes donning bowling shoes and Tyree expressed his gratitude for his charity co-sponsors and the evening’s donors, the athletes that had donated their time praised Tyree for his character and devotion to help others.
“A great guy and beautiful person” said Plaxico Burress, a former Giants receiver who won the Super Bowl alongside Tyree during the year of the famous catch. Burress said that during his impactful yet relatively short time playing alongside Tyree that he got to know him for the person he is, not just his talents. “He’s always going to be honest with you, he’s always going to be up front. I respect him and his wife, his family… everything he’s about.”
Giants punter Steve Weatherford is a current ambassador on behalf of the team and echoed the thoughts on his former teammate. He also reflected on what it’s like to be such a visible figure in the community, using his position to help the causes he does.
“I never thought that I would ever make it to the National Football League and it’s been nine years later,” Weatherford said. “I’m a Super Bowl champion, I’ve achieved more athletically then I ever thought I would, and I guess I just feel blessed. And I think that by me getting up with different charities and going to different events and blessing others with my time, with my efforts, with my energy, I think that for me I’m playing with house money, because I never thought I’d make it this far.”
Tyree’s story is that of someone who once had to choose between two very different paths, forgoing a dangerous and drug-filled lifestyle for what would eventually be great success, and this is a main reason he selected his charitable partners. Representatives from Children of the City told stories of youth they’d once intervened with in abusive homes and hopeless educational settings and corrected their lives. The Legacy Center referenced their latest campaign to help the city’s high volume of homeless citizens, particularly children.
Tyree spent very little of his time during the evening bowling, and much more of it socializing and thanking everyone for coming, validating their high opinions of him. This represents his post-football career well, as he has spent much less time bowling and relaxing than he has reaching out to others. Whether it is as an ordained Pastor or through his position with the league’s player engagement program, he manages to seek out those in need of what he has to offer and be where they need him to be.
-Rosa, Impacted by Children of the City
As a player, the challenge was to be available for as much of the time as possible, so when the most opportune moment came he could be there to catch it. Now, his availability is spread thin between the league that once gave him this platform, the causes he supports so strongly, the disciples he mentors, and of course his family, of which he has seven children. It may be tough to juggle, just as it is to bowl with one hand and shake hands with the other, but Tyree manoeuvres these obstacles just as he once did defenders. He knows that growing is a part of his journey, but it is one that will involve much more teaching as well.