When Hurricane Katrina stuck the Gulf region back in 2005, hundreds of New Yorkers flew down in the ensuing months to volunteer, re-build and do their best to help get things back to normal. Fast forward seven years, and now thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the New York metropolitan area finds itself in a similar situation.
For one Super Bowl-winning defensive end, this was just the excuse he needed to give back to the area that once had his back.
Jarvis Green spent eight seasons with the New England Patriots, racking up 28 sacks and winning two titles along the way. But it’s Green’s off the field accolades that really jump out to you when measuring what type of man he truly is. He recently took a break from his philanthropy work to talk to TDdaily about how his foundation plans on helping victims of Sandy, along with what the Giants offensive linemen were doing on the infamous Super Bowl XLII “helmet catch” and more.
TDdaily: So I hear that you’re a bit of a “ladies man”—tell us some of the ways that the Jarvis Green Foundation is committed to helping women.
Jarvis Green: We help disadvantaged, single, working mothers, and we help them out by hosting different events like wine tastings, cocktail parties and networking events. It’s fun to do and it’s for a good cause and everybody benefits from it. And we just raise money for the women, the single moms, especially around the holidays, back to school for the kids, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Anything they really need us for, that’s what we do with the foundation.
TD: Why do you think it’s so important to give back to the community?
JG: Growing up my mom and dad always gave back, they were always around doing things in the community. We didn’t have many things growing up but we always made sure to just share, or lend a hand. It didn’t always have to be money. It could be anything from community service, to helping the old folks, or spending time at the churches. I did a lot of food drives growing up and was always around visiting with kids who had sickle cell and doing different campaigns like that with my mom and dad. So I guess it just spread over to me and I’m thankful for the opportunity to help.
TD: Did growing up in Louisiana, a state that has been hit hard by hurricanes in the past, play a role in you wanting to help out the victims of Hurricane Sandy?
JG: Definitely. I had lost a lot of family members, our family members lost a lot of their homes, there was a lot of tragedy and just the things that you saw down here in Louisiana was horrible. But now I have the opportunity to give back so I started working with this shrimp company, IFBG, and I knew I just had to help out because when Hurricane Katrina hit a lot New Yorkers came down to the New Orleans area to help, so I wanted to do the same thing for them.
TD: You mentioned teaming up with the food company IFBG, how exactly are you guys planning on giving back to the communities in New Jersey that were hit hardest by Sandy?
JG: Well today [Wednesday] they came to pick up the load, 10,000 pounds of shrimp. And our shrimp isn’t raw, it’s steamed already, season packed, you can cook it in ten minutes and we’re also donating about three to four thousand pounds of egg rolls. So it’s something that they can put together as a meal, get some pasta to add to it… Myself and the owner of IFBG are going to go to some of the food pantries and serve some food out to those who need it.
TD: What was your proudest football moment at any level?
JG: It has to be my first Super Bowl win in Houston [XXXVIII] in 2003. I had had some big games leading up to it including in the AFC Championship game versus the Colts where I had 2.5 sacks. I felt like I really played a part in winning the Super Bowl, so that would have to be it for me. Also, I was close to home so it was kind of like a homecoming for me and my family.
TD: You were lucky enough to be a part of some truly great teams, winning two Super Bowls and making it to a third, which year did you feel like your team was the strongest?
JG: Definitely the undefeated year. I mean to go 16-0 and then making it all the way to the Super Bowl and losing that game was just so tough. We played perfect all season and everything we did was just clockwork. There were just things that were happening unexpectedly and nobody ever had to worry all season because we knew we were going to win the game. And then to go and play the Giants and lose on the last series, the last possession, was just brutal.
TD: You were on the field and even got a hand on Eli Manning during the infamous “Helmet Catch,” so be honest, were the Giants holding you on that play?
JG: Man they were holding every play! Everybody was holding, grabbing around the neck, but I guess it just wasn’t our time to win. We had had so much success. I remember through the course of the game I had one sack and then I thought I had that sack on Eli on the Tyree catch. I think that would have been the play of the game. I probably would have been in the parade in Disney World (laughs)!
TD: What team did you enjoy beating the most throughout the course of your career?
JG: I think it has to be the Jets. Just the rivalry with the New York Jets and the things that go on between the two teams. I mean leading up to that game was always special, it was always tough, and it always came down to the wire. So when we beat the Jets, or swept them for the season, it was always a hell of a season for us.
TD: What was it like having Tom Brady as your quarterback? It’s got to be like having a cheat code out there.
JG: Tom is great guy. He’s a special, humble guy. A great leader and a team player. A lot of people that don’t really know him, have no idea how great of a person he is. He’s unselfish, he’s a team player that knows how to be successful.
TD: In that undefeated ’07 season you guys put up some incredible numbers. Which record do you think has a chance to be broken first—Brady’s 50 passing touchdowns or Randy Moss’ 23 receiving touchdowns?
JG: (Pauses) I think it would be 50 touchdowns. I think that’ll be the first of those records to get broken. It’s gonna be tough for somebody to get to 24 receiving touchdowns in a season, but anything is possible.
TD: Did you guys on that ’07 Patriots team use ‘Spy Gate’ as extra motivation to play even harder to prove how good you really were?
JG: I think it was more just adversity man, people throwing stuff at you. For us, we played well, we had a great year through that and just managed to go out there and show people we don’t need cheating to be successful and win.
TD: Knowing how big a role volunteering plays in your life, how did it feel to win the Ron Burton Community Service Award back in 2006?
JG: It felt great. That year I did a lot of different media events and I went to a lot of ceremonies that summer. But to be awarded a trophy after Rob Burton, someone so highly regarded in the Patriot family, was a great honor.
TD: What are some life goals that you’ve set for yourself off the football field that you would like to achieve?
JG: Well I’ve been working now, doing construction. I’ve got my own company and I’ve also been doing a lot of things in the seafood business. I’ve really been busy on that end doing a lot of rehabs and just trying to give back and help with my construction while also helping the community. So right now I’m very happy with what I’ve been doing, this is what I’ve always wanted to do. Just sawing away, sawing out here everyday.
TD: Does your freshman sack record at LSU still stand?
JG: I think it does (laughs). I’m not sure.
TD: Can we get a Super Bowl prediction?
JG: Houston Texans over the Atlanta Falcons.