Fifteen years after the play that ultimately defined his career, David Tyree is still catching fire that sparks a different kind of champion. The former wide receiver is best known for the “Helmet Catch”, a flicker in time that was fossilized in NFL history as one of the greatest plays ever made. The 2007 regular season with the New York Giants minted Tyree’s name on the field, setting a standard for rogue achievers to be their own kind of hero. Tyree leads through various mediums in coaching, content creation, and stewardship on and off the field, working towards a life that transcends a legendary moment. Today, he keeps that legacy alive with passion, highlighting the importance of collective growth that elevates everybody in his corner. Celebrity interview
“The emerging generation is into collaboration, but that wasn’t always the case with our generation,” said Tyree. “We did the best with what we knew, everybody in their own lane.”
At forty-three years old, Tyree reflects on his seven-year season with the Giants and how different the world looked before social media. A native of New Jersey, Tyree attended Syracuse University before joining the ranks of the NFL. Even today, the NFL continues to entertain with or without smartphones. In 2008, Tyree went viral during Super Bowl XLII after receiving a pass from Eli Manning, secured only by his right hand pressed into his helmet. Until that moment, Tyree was defined by his role in the special teams unit. In a sense, he worked in the shadows to support his fellow Giants which, even today, reflects his approach to winning the game of life.
“As an athlete, you get a short lifespan to accomplish monumental things,” Tyree said, “and I value things that are eternal or sacred.”
The standing power of Tyree’s historical play in Arizona provided an opportunity for growth outside of pro-ball, as some of his most influential work has unfolded beyond the gridiron at home with his family and across the nation with his sports community. As a coach, Tyree leads young athletes into open water through annual regalia like “Catch Camp”, kicking off this year in Arizona from February 3-5. Back home, however, he leads a team of seven along with his wife, Leilah Tyree, of eighteen years. When Tyree made his helmet catch in 2008, the couple were expecting twins.
“Two miracles, one play,” he recalls. “I didn’t even see the coverage until I got back to the hotel, and that was the first time I was impressed with my own work.”
Tyree is humble when describing his NFL days, yet recognizes the impact he can make by reliving that moment over and over again. Illuminating the intricacies behind the NFL is a large component of Tyree’s work on “Catch The Moment”, a podcast that invites dynamic discussions every Wednesday. His latest episode gives the mic to Eric Reid, a former safety for the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers. On Instagram, Tyree maintains a steady pulse of football related topics, but the magnetism comes alive on episodes of “Catch The Moment”, where his knowledge is paired with the stories of fellow athletes.
“The podcast is a reflection of how every person has value,” he said. “Hopefully we can create more opportunities to celebrate and elevate because I think that’s the way life should be lived in regards to sharing success. Then we have a platform that serves us collectively.”
The play of 2008 was Tyree’s last catch before moving on to the Baltimore Ravens and, in 2010, retiring due to injury. Following retirement, Tyree served as the Director of Player Development for the Giants, allowing him the opportunity to amplify the unique values and strengths of tomorrow’s NFL champs.
This year, Super Bowl LVII will be hosted in Phoenix, Arizona, where Tyree made his catch fifteen years ago against the New England Patriots. Looking back at that particular moment, and looking ahead at where he plans to be during this year’s game, Tyree reflects on a journey that has truly outlived a twinkle in time. Celebrity interview
“I’ve never been into pedestals, but I recognize the value of a platform,” he said. The helmet catch gave Tyree an opportunity to lead his own endeavors, especially in collective growth. Catch Camp, for instance, offers tutelage to aspiring athletes, whereas the guests of “Catch The Moment” are given a platform to tell their own stories. Professional athletes have a job to do, but how they choose to execute their responsibilities and where they build upon them following their careers is where the magic happens. As we’ve seen with Tyree, a moment can last a lifetime. Celebrity interview
“We can’t all be Lebron James,” he jokes. “But most people could be a David Tyree.”