What happened to David Tyree?

Think back to several years ago. Think back to a time before Odell Beckham Jr. was making stunning one handed catches and before Eli Manning became an average quarterback. Yes that far. Now think even further back, until you reach a time when the New York Giants could actually make the playoffs.

The year you’re looking back to is 2008. The Giants have made it to the Super Bowl and are set to play the New England Patriots. In a thrilling game, the last three minutes tick away, and the score reads 14-10 in favor of the Patriots. With the help of some dramatic plays, the Giants would eventually end up toppling the mighty Patriots, and winning their first Lombardi trophy in seventeen years. Following the game there was only one play everyone was talking about: The Catch by David Tyree.

Somehow an irrelevant (he only had 4 receptions for 35 yards during the regular season) wide receiver had managed to catch a desperation pass from Manning, and set up the win. A no name had helped win the Super Bowl, it was as if every sports movie ever had come true. Everyone back in 2008 knew Tyree’s name, but now it seems he’s simply vanished. So whatever did happen to David Tyree?

Before we dig into Tyree’s life after the catch and what he’s been up to since, you need to appreciate Tyree’s life before he was a Super Bowl hero. Tyree was a troubled child and struggled with alcohol addiction since he was a middle schooler. The turning point came in 2004 when he was arrested for the possession of marijuana. After his eventual release from prison, his wife gave him an ultimatum: change his lifestyle, or lose his family. At that point he began reading the bible, and made a complete turnaround in his life. He claims hasn’t had alcohol since.

In 2006 Tyree and his wife started “Next in Line,” a project that hoped to positively influence younger generations. Unfortunately the project closed in 2009, but Tyree has remained dedicated to having a positive contribution to society.

It’s a bittersweet thought, but Tyree’s heroic Super Bowl catch wound up being his last catch ever in the NFL. The next season Tyree sustained a knee injury during training camp and was placed on injured reserve. He was on the physically unable to perform list for most of the year, and was a non factor for the Giants that season. At the start of the next season, New York actually released Tyree, pretty harsh considering he’s the reason they won the super bowl. Regardless, Tyree was on his way out of New York looking for greener pastures. Although he wasn’t playing football, it’s worth noting that Tyree wrote and published a book about his miraculous catch entitled “More Than Just a Catch.”

A knee injury in training camp was the end of Tyree’s time with the Giants (Photo courtesy of John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

In 2009 Tyree signed with the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of seeking redemption. He appeared in ten games for Baltimore but recorded zero catches. He was about as relevant as the Redskins in the playoffs these past few years. It looked like Tyree’s fifteen minutes of fame were up, and from a player’s perspective, this couldn’t have been more true. After his lackluster year with the Ravens, Tyree signed a one day contract with the Giants in 2010, and then promptly retired. Although he was finished as a player, it wasn’t the last time the world would hear about David Tyree.

Tyree’s fame even brought him to the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine. (Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)

David Tyree once again made headlines in 2011 when he became an advocate for the New York chapter of the National Organization for Marriage. While this alone wouldn’t be notable, it’s what he said about marriage that garnered attention. Specifically, it’s what he said about gay marriage in an interview that was significant.

The gist of his interview was that he believed gay marriage was slowly bringing our country toward anarchy. Not only that, but he also said he’d trade his famous catch AND the Giant’s Super Bowl in order to keep marriage between a man and woman. Yup, he pretty much said he’s completely against gay marriage. Oh boy, that’s uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable though is that the Giants signed Tyree as the director of Player Development this past July. As you can guess, this signing was faced with a lot of controversy. You won’t see many LGBT supporters of the Giants any time soon.

Well there you have it, you’re now fully caught up with the fast paced and slightly intolerant life of David Tyree. What’s next for our Super Bowl hero? The world may never know. One thing that is for certain though is that next week is the final installment of “What Happened to ____?” Who will it be covering? I guess you need to read it to find out! Stay tuned!

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