David Tyree's Giant Catch
By Shawn Brown
Super Bowl XLII was a classic case of David versus Goliath and perhaps one of the most anticipated championship games in NFL history. The underdog New York Giants went up against the unbeatable New England Patriots as they tried to become only the second team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl during an undefeated season. Giants wide receiver David Tyree scored the first touchdown of the game, but it was the pass he caught from Eli Manning with 1:15 left in the game that will go down as one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history.
David recalls the play, “I just see Eli under duress and I knew he had some angels with him as well because he got out the grasp of three New England Patriots and he just did a great job. He put the ball up and I was just doing my best to focus on that at that time and I didn’t understand the magnitude of the catch. I just knew it was a pretty good catch and I wasn’t going to let it go.”
David’s Super Bowl performance ultimately defined his NFL playing career. David says, “When you look at the magnitude of what just occurred, its only God. So I keep it simple and I give Him all the glory.” While today he gives God the glory for his success, God wasn’t always a part of his life, especially on his journey to the NFL. As a wide receiver at Syracuse University, David partied about as hard as he played football.“I can remember,” says David, “probably drinking after every game I had. From Junior year on. You know, my house was the party house. My weekly thing would be a 40oz of beer, and a half pint of Jack Daniels and I would smoke you know what we call a blunt of Marijuana. And that would be something that I would do weekly. It was just a part of my routine and lifestyle and as I moved into college it just escalated.”
Although David’s private life was a disaster, David had high expectations as he entered the NFL Draft. The New York Giants selected him in the 6th Round. Unfortunately, his college lifestyle followed him straight into the NFL. David remembers, “when I say the love of money is the root of all evil, what happens is when you get money and you don’t have the proper perception and you know, the knowledge and the wisdom to understand what those resources are for and how to allocate them, it begins to intensify every dark part of your life. So whereas I had women, well now I have more women. I’m drawing more women. Um, alcohol, more you know, it just becomes more. It feeds the evil. Especially when marijuana became the bigger issue. Because when I was in high school I didn’t have much money, now I got the money to get he best marijuana there was. And so that’s exactly what I did.”
As a rookie in the NFL, David didn’t understand the consequences that would result from his actions. He thought, “I’m playing good football, I’m getting special teams you know, rookie of the year by the NFL, you know sports writers, Giants rookie of the year. All this stuff was great on the field. But it was destructive off. I’m coming in late, getting fined. I think I had about $10,000 in fines that year. I still had a street mindset. You know the mind set of, I’ve lost all this money, I got the best marijuana, so I might as well start selling this stuff. I can make a ton of my money. And you know that’s how I’ll get my money back."
It wasn’t long before David was arrested for drug possession. He remembers, “It was actually the off-season. I think it was toward the end of February or early March if I can recall. I got pulled over with a half pound of Marijuana. And uh, while I was in that jail cell, that was when I simply cried out to God. (It was for) the first time out of sincerity. Just, you know broken. That was my low point. I simply said, ‘God you know, I need you and I don’t know what to do.’ Its really kind of funny, I look at it now it’s kinda funny, I said if you could save my job too that would be, I would be appreciative.”
David spent a month in Jail. Upon his release, he immediately went to his girlfriend’s house and found something unexpected. David says, “she had a Bible laying on the bed. That was the first time I had ever read a Bible and it started to make sense. I never would have imagined the drastic transformation, but within two weeks, God drastically rocked my world.”
The following week David went to church where he gave his life to Christ. He soon married his girlfriend and today along with their children, they’re a happy family. “It’s not always about the glory,” says David. “But it’s about giving Him (Jesus) the glory despite what circumstances present themselves. (It’s about) Seeing victory even in the midst of your deepest adversity. He’s already given his life, so what more could you ask for.”
David announced his retirement from the NFL on July 30, 2010. He plans on being more involved in ministry as his post-NFL career begins to take shape. David believes, “there’s no greater love, there’s no greater joy, there’s no greater peace, for all things that we long and desire to do or accomplish to be. We can only find rest in those things when we have Jesus as a part of our lives. You know and that’s really what it boils down to. Becoming a lover of Jesus. I take great delight in getting to know Him even more and there’s so much to a relationship with Jesus Christ that words, even words don’t even express.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.