LANDING — David Tyree knows that nobody, himself included, had cast him as The Hero going into Super Bowl XLII.
“I wasn’t supposed to be The Guy,” he said simply.
If you’d gone up and down the rosters of the New York Giants and New England Patriots, you’d have picked a dozen players more likely to make the key catch.
But it was Tyree, the Giants’ fourth receiver best known as a special teams ace, who stepped into the starring role, snaring a critical 32-yard pass on the game-winning drive.
The thing is, the play for which Tyree will always be remembered wasn’t designed to go to him. In fact, he said, nine times out of 10 quarterback Eli Manning would have thrown to another wideout: Steve Smith had been the first option coming out of the slot.
But as the final minute neared in the Giants’ epic 17-14 upset win, protection broke down, Manning ran for his life, and somehow he spotted Tyree coming back for the ball.