McCourty's tackles and picks to aid victims

McCourty's tackles and picks to aid victims
April 23, 2013, 1:45 pm
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FOXBORO -- In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty knew he needed to act. He wanted to ease the region's pain in some way, but wasn't exactly sure how until a teammate inspired him.

"I will DONATE $100 for EVERY pass I catch next season to whatever 'Boston Marathon Relief Fund' there is," read receiver Danny Amendola's Tweet. "And $200 for any dropped pass."

McCourty immediately threw down, swapping out $100 catches for tackles and $200 for interceptions.

"I thought it was a great thing. I thought it was cool, the concept, and the way he thought about doing it," McCourty told reporters on Tuesday. "I think everyone who experienced that, who had to watched that, had to think right away, 'What is something that I could do to help?' Once I saw him do that, I just kind of piggy-backed on what he was doing."

Using their status and visibility to bolster local communities is not uncommon for athletes. McCourty has already been busy this offseason, promoting literacy to young students in Rhode Island. His next project involves partnering with his twin brother Jason, a cornerback for the Titans, and the Embrace Kids Foundation to raise money and awareness for the fight against sickle cell disease.

"Me and my brother are doing a 5K walk for sickle cell," McCourty explained. "We went to a hospital visiting and the kids were ecstatic just for us being there. And that's what's always cool if you can do something like that. Just to put smiles on kids faces. Being a football player, that makes people happy. And to donate your time and do that, I think that's big."

So what happens when an event is born from the minds of two professional athletes who grew up playing with and fighting against each other for 25 years? A unique brand of charity, at the least.

"Of course, like twins, we put a different edge to it. We're going to see -- whoever raises the most money is going to be the winner of our little bet, and whoever loses has to fly to the other one's city, dress up as the mascot, and he has to do a little modeling for the day and sign autographs as the mascot," McCourty laughed.

"We're going to have fun with it. It's going to be in Jersey City on June 9 and we're going to compete. I want to beat him, not just raise my money, but I want to beat him. It's going to be a good competition. A lot of people are going to come out, walk, donate, so we can't wait."