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From Super Bowl to acai bowls: Giants' David Tyree opens restaurant

Known for the "helmet catch" in Super Bowl XLII, the former pro player is now focused on family and entrepreneurship.
From Super Bowl to acai bowls: Giants' David Tyree opens restaurant
Posted at 9:29 AM, Aug 21, 2023

David Tyree is no stranger to challenges.

In the 2008 Super Bowl as his underdog New York Giants faced off against the mighty New England Patriots with less than two minutes to go, quarterback Eli Manning throws a deep pass to wide receiver Tyree, who makes a leaping catch that he secures against his helmet. The play enabled a 32-yard gain, helping the Giants score the game-winning touchdown in a 17–14 victory over the Patriots, who were on the verge of becoming the first National Football League team to finish a season undefeated since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The helmet catch has consistently been ranked as one of the greatest plays of all time. 

From the Super Bowl, Tyree is now serving bowls of different kinds. He and his wife Leilah recently opened Tyree’s Table, a small eatery in Morristown, New Jersey, focused on healthy eats, including acai bowls. 

The business is a new concept, a switch from the Clean Juice juice bar that the couple operated at the same spot in Morristown. Leilah and David Tyree had Clean Juice for three years before expanding on the healthy eats concept. 

David Tyree talks about his new business as the country celebrates Black Business Month.

SCRIPPS NEWS' MARY CHAO: What is the concept of Tyree’s Table? 

DAVID TYREE: Tyree’s Table is two-fold. I wanted to create a concept that is welcoming. Embrace the idea of being with family and being at the table with family. We’re the parents of seven children. There’s always room at our table.

As a Black business owner, my wife as a female minority business owner, everyone is looking for a seat at the table. As an athlete, you want to have a seat at the table in your contract negotiation. Even as you’re emerging as an entrepreneur, just understanding there’s room for everybody at the table.

SEE MORE: How Food Network fame boosted this Black-owned pasta shop

CHAO: How did playing professional football prepare you for entrepreneurship?

TYREE: Having a high-performance mindset puts you in a position of always evaluating. You understand hard work, sacrifice. There are a lot of different moving factors as it relates to things like the restaurant industry which I was certainly a novice. So having three years of experience previously under Clean Juice really prepared us to understand all those moving pieces.”

A football season prepares you for the unknown. You put a lot of work in with the proper expectation of winning a game and there’s all kinds of things that can break down. I think that’s life. That’s also business. Definitely, my playing experience has laid the foundation to being successful.

CHAO: What is your advice for other aspiring Black entrepreneurs?

TYREE: Get in the game sooner. I know there are many challenges in relation to capital. Collaboration is key. I think in light of us having a platform and different opportunities I really wish we had a lot more from earlier risks. We’re 43 years old. We’re still raising seven kids.

Get in the game sooner. Learn as you go. The process is what makes you perfect. There’s no perfect team. Patriots knew that. But the process is what gets you married to the pursuit of perfection. Get some collaborators. Get some partners and co-owners.   

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