Inside look at Hometown Hero Eric Decker


For the New York Jets, wide receiver Eric Decker was honored by the United Way of New York City when he was named their Hometown Hero of 2016.

The red carpet at the New York Hilton Midtown was lined with reporters hoping for the opportunity to speak with the man of honor, wide receiver of the New York Jets, Eric Decker.  He dressed in a simple grey suit, white collared shirt and slim grey tie.  I patiently waited at the end of the carpet waiting for my turn with him; as they say: patience is a virtue.  Decker calmly strode over to me after going live on with New York CBS sports reporter Otis Livingston.

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My dream, as outlined in my post from November 5, 2015, was coming true.  Decker was looking at me, waiting for me to ask him questions!  “It’s really cool to be recognized”, he said. Rashad Jennings, all the nominees that came here last year… it’s quite an honor from the United Way of New York Jets  just being in the big apple and what we do in our communities in giving back.  It’s just special”.

Property and used by permission of Danielle McCartan

His wife, country music star Jessie James Decker, told me: “So proud. I mean, he’s phenomenal, he’s such a good person.  And I mean when I say, he’s probably the best person I’ve ever met in my life.  Obviously I sound biased because I married him, he’s my husband but what you see is what you get.  He’s just a good soul and he deserves this.  He really, really cares so much about our foundation.  So, for him to be recognized like this is just, exciting and makes me feel good”.

As I explained in my article from a couple months ago, Decker was named as the Jets’ Man of the Year based on his ability to help the community.  With The Eric and Jessie Decker Foundation, they have helped countless lives.  In addition, his Decker’s Dogs initiative is a great cause, as noted on their site: “DD helps fund the rescue, care and training of a service dog for our military veterans returning home with disabilities”.  As Jessie explained above, she and Eric are also involved in the Jets’ campaign to Stomp Out Bullying in the local school communities, even paying one school a special visit!

Property and used by permission of Danielle McCartan
Property and used by permission of Danielle McCartan /

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“For more than 40 years, United Way and the National Football League have worked together to improve the lives of young people across the country. For 23 years, United Way of New York City, the New York Jets, and the New York Giants have come together for the Gridiron Gala to celebrate the impact of their partnership and to call for continued collaboration. Since its inception, the Gridiron Gala has raised more than $27 million in support of United Way of New York City’s initiatives that empower low-income children living across the five boroughs (United Way Official Press Release).”