David Tyree

David Tyree
No. 85, 17
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1980-01-03) January 3, 1980
Place of birth: Livingston, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Montclair (NJ)
College: Syracuse
NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 6 / Pick: 211
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 54
Receiving yards: 650
Receiving TDs: 4
Player stats at NFL.com

David Mikel Tyree (born January 3, 1980) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons. He played college football for Syracuse University. He was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Tyree has also played for the Baltimore Ravens. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 as a special teams player.

He is best known for the miraculous Helmet Catch in 2008 on the Giants' final drive of Super Bowl XLII. The catch came at a crucial moment and was instrumental in continuing the drive that eventually resulted in the Giants scoring a last-minute touchdown, resulting in a 17–14 victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

Tyree is currently the New York Giants' Director of Player Development.

Early years

Born in Livingston, New Jersey, Tyree grew up in a one-bedroom house in Montclair, New Jersey with his mother and two older sisters after his parents divorced.[1] He played high school football and was a three-year varsity letterman at Montclair High School, where he was selected as a Blue Chip Illustrated All-American.[2] Tyree was also known for his performance in Montclair's annual modern pentathlon competition, where he broke numerous county records and made the cover of "NJ Equestrian Weekly".

College career

Over Tyree's career at Syracuse, he ranked 13th on the career receiving record list with 1,214 yards, including 229 yards against Virginia Tech in 2002. He also developed a reputation for being an excellent special teams player, amassing six blocked punts.[3]

Professional career

New York Giants

Tyree was primarily a backup for the Giants, never catching more than 19 passes in a single season. However, he was known as an exceptional special teamer, and he earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 as a special teams player.

Main article: Helmet Catch

During the 2007 season, Tyree had 4 receptions for 35 yards with no touchdowns; however, his utilization in Super Bowl XLII was perhaps his most relevant contribution.[4]

Tyree made two key plays in Super Bowl XLII. First he caught a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning, Tyree's first of the season, that gave the Giants a 10-7 lead late in the game.[5] Later, on a 3rd-and-5 with 1:15 remaining and trailing 14-10, Manning eluded a sack and threw 32 yards downfield toward Tyree. In Manning's words, the ball "floated" high.[6]

Tyree leaped and caught the ball fully extended, bringing it down against his helmet with his right hand, while the New England Patriots' Rodney Harrison pulled violently downward on that arm, simultaneously wrenching Tyree arching backwards towards the turf. Tyree, who managed to get a second hand on the ball during the descent, seemingly kept the ball only inches from the turf, thereafter struggling successfully for possession while Harrison tried to steal the ball away from him on the ground. The play was known as "The Helmet Catch".[5][7] "I told you. He's a gamer," Eli commented to his brother, Peyton, regarding Tyree, after the game.[8] ESPN Sportscenter designated it the greatest play in Super Bowl history the following day. It was later voted for the 2008 ESPY award for Play of the Year. The pass moved the Giants to the Patriots' 24-yard line with 59 seconds left. Four plays and 24 seconds later, Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress for the winning touchdown. The final score of Super Bowl XLII was Giants 17, Patriots 14.[9] Tyree dedicated this catch, which remains the last catch he has made in an NFL game, to his mother, Thelma, who died of a heart attack that year.

In 2008, Tyree was placed on injured reserve for a knee injury suffered during training camp after being on the physically-unable-to-perform list most of the season. Tyree was released during the final cuts on September 5, 2009.[10]

Baltimore Ravens

Tyree was signed by the Baltimore Ravens on October 13, 2009 after working out with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He appeared in ten games with the Ravens, but had no receptions.


Tyree signed a 1-day contract with the New York Giants to announce his retirement from the NFL as a Giant on July 29, 2010.[11] On February 5, 2012, Tyree watched from the Giants sideline as his former team beat the Patriots again in Super Bowl XLVI with the final score being 21-17.[12]


Tyree battled with alcohol addiction beginning in middle school, and in March 2004, he was arrested by the Fort Lee Police Department[13] for possession of marijuana.[14] Leilah told him she was pregnant with their second child the day he was released from jail. Later that month, Leilah "presented Tyree with an ultimatum — her lifestyle or his."[14] He began reading a Bible on her bed, and "for the first time, the words on the page made sense" to him. Tyree said from that day he never drank again.[14] He and Leilah were married in June 2004.[15]

He is a born-again Christian[15] and has made appearances at the 2008 and 2009 Christian concert "BattleCry".[16] In 2006, he and his wife started Next In Line, a project that counsels teenagers in his hometown.[14]

In 2011, Tyree became an advocate against legalization of same-sex marriage in New York with the National Organization for Marriage.[17]

Tyree said in an interview that the passage of the Marriage Equality Act would "be the beginning of our country sliding toward...anarchy".[18] He said he would trade his famous catch and the team's Super Bowl title to keep marriage between a man and a woman.[19] On July 22, 2014, Tyree was named Director of Player Development for the New York Giants.[20]

See also


  1. Dillon, Dennis. "The miracles in David Tyree's grasp", Sporting News, June 19, 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2011. "Born in Livingston, N.J., Tyree had something of a hardscrabble life. He was 1 when his parents, Jesse and Thelma, divorced. When he was 10, Thelma moved Tyree and his two older sisters to Montclair, where they lived in a one-bedroom house. Thelma slept in the bedroom, David had the living room and his sisters took the dining room."
  2. "NFL Players: David Tyree". Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  3. "David Tyree Profile". Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  4. http://www.nfl.com/players/davidtyree/profile?id=TYR159366
  5. 1 2 Youngmisuk, Ohm (2008-02-04). "David Tyree catches on in Super way". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  6. [Post-game mic recording Fox News Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.]
  7. "Name the Eli Manning-David Tyree pass". Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  8. {Fox & Friends microphone session.}
  9. "'Supernatural' catch by Tyree a play for the ages". Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  10. http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d81267676&template=without-video-with-comments&confirm=true
  11. Youngmisuk, Ohm (29 July 2010). "David Tyree to retire as a Giant". Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  12. NY Giants' David Tyree says this Super Bowl run was similar to the last
  13. Vacchiano, Ralph (March 5, 2004). "BIG BLUE'S TYREE IN POT ARREST". New York: Daily News. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
  14. 1 2 3 4 Bishop, Grey. "Super Bowl Spotlight Shines on A Changed Man"
  15. 1 2 Bell, Jarrett (12 June 2008). "The Catch: Super Bowl moment small part of Tyree's journey". USA Today. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  16. Michael Eisen. "Moving forward, Giants GM Jerry Reese has put SBXLII in his rearview mirror". Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  17. "David Tyree on Marriage: The NOM Interview". National Organization for Marriage. YouTube. June 15, 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  18. Kessler, Jason (June 16, 2011). "Super Bowl hero warns of 'anarchy' if NY approves gay marriage". CNN. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  19. Lovett, Kenneth (June 20, 2011). "David Tyree, hero of Giants' Super Bowl upset of Patriots, said he'd trade win to block gay marriage". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  20. Eisen, Michael (July 22, 2014). "David Tyree hired as Director of Player Development". Giants.com.

External links

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