- Lindsay Berra
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Right now, David Tyree's helmet—the one he so gracefully employed to haul in that 3rd-down desperation toss from Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLII—is sitting rather unceremoniously on a pile of stuff in the office at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University (NJ). Not to worry, though; soon it will have a place of honor among the museum's exhibits.
Why here? Tyree grew up in Montclair (minutes away from Giants Stadium). He played football at Montclair High. And he lives in Montclair now. In addition to the headgear donation, Tyree also gave his time, addressing current students and athletes from his high school alma mater, preaching an earnest message of hard work and perseverance.
The proceedings were moderated by Sports Illustrated football guru and fellow Montclair resident Peter King. Montclair High football coach Ed Lebida told stories about a similar catch Tyree made as a Mountie. Julie Jackson, a YBMLC board member and president of the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, announced a scholarship in Tyree's name. The man who saved the Super Bowl for the Giants was moved to tears; he's got four kids now, including twin girls born just this week, and all four could be future Montclair Mounties.
Full disclosure: The museum is my Grampa's and I'm on the board and we're thrilled that we get to hang on to Tyree's helmet for a while. If you're in the area, come on by and inspect it for Velcro and chewing gum. (Pats fans—you'll find it free of any adhesives, sorry.) If you're curious about where the helmet will go next, don't bother checking eBay. "After Yogi Berra's place," Tyree says, "it's coming home with me."
2hTristan H. Cockcroft