Now, who is David Tyree? If you're a football fan and watched the Giants play the Patriots in 2008, you might have seen one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history as the game was winding down. Eli Manning escaped a sack, threw a Hail Mary third down pass deep over the middle of the field and a fourth string receiver named David Tyree miraculously caught the ball pressed up against his helmet with one hand. That play led to the Giants defeating Tom Brady's 18-0 new England powerhouse team for an improbable win. Tyree was never anything special as a player, but became a local hero and got a book deal out of the legendary play. Unfortunately, he was hurt soon afterwards and was gone from football. Now he's come out of the woodwork to become a vocal leader against marriage equality as the NY state bill legalizing gay marriage is in its final stages.
With the legislative session in overtime and the votes of a handful of Republican state senators up for grabs, the fate of a "gay marriage" bill that would make New York the largest and most influential state to redefine marriage remained uncertain Tuesday.
Why is Tyree's behavior so egregious? He has come out and said that he would have dropped The Catch of the Ages on purpose if it meant that the bill would not pass. That's right, he's willing to trade a Giants Super Bowl win in order to be sure gay rights would be defeated. That's sick.
Tyree, who called the catch a "gift" he couldn't repeat if he tried, said "there's nothing worth more than [maintaining heterosexual marriage] right here for me."
Asked if he'd give up the Super Bowl to stop gay marriage, Tyree said: "Honestly, I probably would."
"Nothing means more to me than that my God would be honored," he said. "Being the fact that I firmly believe that God created and ordained marriage between a man and a woman, I believe that that's something that should be fought for at all costs."
"So I'll lay down everything I am to preserve the honor and integrity of the God that I serve."
He said his new role as a gay marriage opponent sheds deeper meaning on his Super Bowl catch.
"Perhaps God orchestrated that play to give me a platform for what I'm doing here today: To urge political leaders all over our nation to reject same-sex marriage," he said.
Tyree said he doesn't fear his stance will tarnish his image with Giants fans who support gay marriage.
To think that Tyree would undermine his teammates, the fans, the league, 97.5 million viewers and his bosses for an ideological homophobic viewpoint is unconscionable. His stance on gay marriage doesn't bother fans like myself because he has a right to believe what he wants, but to tie that into how he performs on the field is something that should tarnish his image forever. It's nuts.
Many professional athletes are in the religious right camp, but fans watch to enjoy the competition. Many readers know I follow sports and its Media Village because, well I enjoy sports, but also because AM sports talk radio and even ESPN has a lot of influence on local elections. It was critical in electing Scott Brown when Martha Coakley made a huge mistake about Curt Schilling. She ran a terrible campaign, but radiotalkers roasted her on Boston sports talk and it definitely had an positive influence for Scott Brown.
And Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald said the exact same thing on CNN:
EAGAN: Well, she got very good press from "The Boston Globe," not from my paper, "The Boston Herald." But you know something? People don't like -- TV journalists and newspaper journalists do not like to talk about the influence of talk radio. Let me tell you something. There was a nonstop hammering of Martha Coakley on the AM stations here, on the huge sports stations here. She was the evil incarnate and Scott Brown was the next coming. And, you know, the New England Patriots in the playoffs lost early on. It was as if there was this transference from Tom "Terrific" Brady, the quarterback of the Patriots, to Scott "Terrific" Brown. You look at the rallies for Scott Brown, they were very white, they were very suburban, they were Gillette Stadium fans, and there was almost this...
I could make numerous analogies about this to David Tyree, but as an ex-professional athlete he has spit the bit, jumped the shark and crossed the line. I'll always remember Super Bowl 42, but Tyree has damaged himself. If Curt Schilling came out in 2008 and publicly said he would have lost game six on purpose against the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs to end the curse just to make sure McCain won in 2008, I wonder how Red Sox fans would feel?