David Tyree: So Long and Thank You For The Memories!

Doug RushSenior Analyst ISeptember 8, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  David Tyree #85 of the New York Giants catches a 32-yard pass from Eli Manning #10 as Rodney Harrison #37 of the New England Patriots attempts to knock it out in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

On Saturday, I looked on my cell phone to check ESPN's website and saw on the top news icon that the New York Giants had cut David Tyree from their 2009 roster.

My eyes widened from the news because I honestly thought Tyree was coming back to play special teams on the Giants.

But with an injury-plagued 2008 season and some new receivers added to the Giants, Tyree's days on the Giants were numbered.

However, I can't be mad or sad about it, because he still provided one of the greatest memories in one of the greatest games ever played in football history.

It's safe to say that Tyree was nothing more than a fourth or fifth wide receiver on the Giants teams from 2003-2008.

He was drafted in the sixth round by the Giants in 2003 out of Syracuse University, but Tyree's value was more on special teams coverage than at wide receiver.

In fact, Tyree was so valuable and so good on special teams, he made the 2005 Pro Bowl for the NFC squad.

Tyree's best season statistically was in 2006, where he caught 19 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

But when the name David Tyree is mentioned, it won't be for stats or greatest Giants wide receivers. It will be for Super Bowl hero.

His name goes along with Joe Montana and Adam Vinatieri as Super Bowl legends who won the games for their teams.

Most of the country who watches football, and even some who didn't, probably saw Super Bowl XLII last February and they saw the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.

They all saw Eli Manning somehow escape three Patriots defenders, take a couple steps back and heave a Hail Mary down the middle of the field.

The fact Manning escaped was a miracle in itself.

Tyree had Rodney Harrison all over him in coverage, but Tyree was able to use his athletic ability to jump up, catch the ball, and hold onto it with his helmet and come down with a 32-yard catch for a first down.

On the same drive, Manning threw the famous fade route to Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown that won the Super Bowl 17-14 for the Giants.

But everyone will always remember Tyree's play. They usually forget that Tyree also scored a five-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter that put the Giants up 10-7. A score that remained until about three minutes left to go in the game.

Before Super Bowl XLII, Tyree's 2007 season was four catches for 35 yards.

After Super Bowl XLII, Tyree is forever a New York Giants legend and Super Bowl hero.

Hopefully Tyree will catch on with another team and continue his NFL career. If he doesn't sign on, and if the Giants have any injuries to their receivers, I hope they keep Tyree's phone number real close and give him a call, because I'm sure everyone would love to see Tyree one more time in Big Blue.

But for now, Tyree is no longer a Giant. He gave all of us Giants fans one of the greatest memories that we will always remember 30, 40, and 50 years down the road.

When all of us have children and grandchildren, and they become sports fans and ask us about the Giants history, when Super Bowl XLIIcomes up, it will be one great story to tell.

You can share where you were on the night of February 3, 2008.

You can tell them the Patriots were 18-0 going into the game and a 14-point favorite.

You can tell them the Patriots even defeated the Giants 38-35 in Week 17 at Giants Stadium to go 16-0.

There are countless stories to share. You can tell them you were at the parade in New York City where Michael Bloomberg honored the team on February 5, 2008, or you can tell them you went to Giants Stadium where the team celebrated on their field after the  New York City parade that drew almost 2 million people

Tyree helped all of this come true for the Giants and for Giants fans.

So David, thank you for the six years you spent with the Giants. Good luck in your NFL career and maybe one day, it will lead you back to East Rutherford.

You will always go down as a legend and a hero of one of the greatest nights in sports history.