Peter King revealed earlier this week that Patriots safety Rodney Harrison would be writing the introduction to David Tyree’s new book More Than Just a Catch, due to be released in September.
Harrison was the closest man to Tyree when he made what some call the greatest catch in Super Bowl history and seems an odd choice to introduce the book of a man who ruined his chance at perfection.
However, we have gotten an advance copy of the book and permission to reprint the introduction below which tells the story of how this unlikely literary partnership came to be:
When Tyree first called me up, I didn’t know who he was or what the hell he was talking about. My wife had locked me in the basement (aka The Fortress of Rodney-Tude) like she usually does when a season ends with any amount of disappointment so “I’m not a danger to myself and others” as she puts it.
So I was a little groggy at the time and not used to having “non—confrontational conversations with other people”.
I asked him again who he was.
He said, ‘you know, the Super Bowl helmet—catch dude’.
Like a lightning flash I saw red and launched myself through a wall.
Once I regained consciousness and found Tyree was still on the line, I told him where he could stick his Super Bowl ring and hung up on him.
When he called right back I let him know he’d be catching my fist with his head if he didn’t stop bothering me, but he said he wasn’t calling to talk trash, he wanted me to introduce his book.
I took this as an insult and began to rip apart his Mother when he stopped me and said what a fan of mine he was. He had heard I too was a man of faith and that was what the book would be about.
“Shouldn’t you be more worried about making the Giants team in 2008 than writing an entire book about the luckiest catch in the history of the NFL?” I asked him.
He said he had to strike while the iron was hot since the Giants probably wouldn’t even make the playoffs in 2008, with or without him.
Hearing the word “Giants” caused me to bite clean through my tongue and that gave Tyree a second to expound on why he was writing the book as my wife sedated me and tended to my laceration.
Tyree said his faith was a huge part of what got him to the NFL and that led into him telling his life story. I didn’t really hear all of it but it was pretty much the run-of-the-mill “I came from nothing and here I am making one big catch and thinking I should be in the Hall of Fame” kind of a thing.
I zoned out through most of it, but that could’ve been because the Mrs. had just given me some sort of injection into my spine.
Tyree finished up his boring life story by saying it was faith that enabled him to make the catch and ultimately, the Giants to win the game.
Luckily my wife had my bite stick in for that mention of “Giants”. It saved her at least two fingers as well as the remaining strand of tongue I had left.
As she finished I told Tyree I took issue with him playing the God card in the Super Bowl. It’s a fact that 63% of the Patriots were Christians while only 58% of the Giants were, so clearly if God was on anyone’s side in the Super Bowl it was ours.
Although I’m not entirely sure that wasn’t the Demerol my wife administered talking.
With a mouthful of cotton and gauze I asked him why didn’t he have Eli write it? If anyone knows anything about Holy Miracles more than Tyree it’s the youngest Manning brother.
He said that Eli had made a deal with Satan just prior to the start of last years playoffs and thus had nothing to add to a book about faith.
Tyree said he had overcome so much in his life to get to that point, he felt he just had to share it with the world.
I asked him if he was going to be able to overcome the high-low me and Bruschi were going to lay on him this coming preseason since that would probably his last game as a Giant.
That was a joke. I don’t think he got it because that time he hung up on me.
Once I called him back, I agreed that I could offer a unique perspective on his lucky grab since it was still giving me night-terrors.
I offered to meet him, but he said that he’d prefer to just allow me to write it from my Fortress of Rodney-tude since he wasn’t entirely convinced I would not try to do bodily harm to him should we meet face-to-face.
I agreed that was smart since I wasn’t entirely convinced myself.
So here it is, David Tyree’s book. The guy is one lucky mother f’er. If Asante Samuel wasn’t already counting how much money he’d get from Philly and delivered a hit like he should’ve no one would know who Tyree was.
Yet he kept the faith, made an impossible catch, and became the answer to a trivia question no one will get in five years.
If you want to read a real book, check out Never Give Up by Tedy Bruschi. Catching a ball against your helmet versus coming back from a stroke? No contest to me.
Rodney Harrison #37