The Superbowl champion offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi comes to the aid of a stricken runner

The city of Boston was struck by tragedy on Monday, on a day normally set aside for the celebration of sports. Patriots day is a huge day in Boston, one of the greatest sporting cities in the World. You all know about the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics and indeed the Boston Bruins. Those legendary teams are but the tip of the ice berg. Boston is also home to the world’s oldest and some say the most prestigious marathon, and it is also home to some of the finest collegiate teams in all of the United States.

The city of Boston eats, breathes and lives sports. This of course makes yesterday’s tragedy all the more palpable, all the more painful. The perpetrators chose the Marathon as their target, thus striking at the very heart and soul of the city of Boston.

Last night, as the city struggled to come to terms with the events of the day, sports took something of a back seat. With a massive (offensive line-man sized) caveat. The Boston Bruins sensibly postponed their NHL game last night, to ensure that a large crowd didn’t gather in such trying circumstances. The Boston Celtics also cancelled their Tuesday night NBA game in advance, for the same, sensible reasons.

Sports will, however, be a major part of the healing process. Boston’s athletes are already chiming in, en-masse, to support the citizens of Boston.

One former Boston athlete has already provided tangible support the likes of which few could imagine, and perhaps fewer still would actually act on.

Joe Andruzzi was an excellent and popular offensive lineman for the New England Patriots. He played 122 games in the NFL and was a Patriot from 2000-2004, winning a stunning three Superbowl rings with the team. Joe comes from a family full of Patriots, all three of his brothers were at one stage New York fire-fighters, and all three acted with heroism on 9/11. Yesterday, among the chaos, Joe wasted no time to throw himself into action. Spotting an injured woman clearly in distress, with family members clearly frozen by fear, Joe grabbed her up and brought her to safety and treatment.

Joe Andruzzi and Marathon tragedy victim

Last night the quiet, unassuming man-mountain released the following statement;

“Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today’s bombings irrevocably changed that. While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today’s horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals — first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives. They were the true heroes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”

Joe’s quiet, effective, passionate heroism is a striking statement on how sports can help a community rebound from tragedy. There is no doubt that sports will help Boston back onto its feet. Thanks in part to the outpouring of emotional and physical support from its athletes, past and present, Boston will rebound back stronger than ever before.

Here's the ESPN report on Joe Andruzzi's involvement:

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