MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Mike Tirico was the first to say the words.
On Monday night’s ESPN broadcast, he uttered the phrase that no one in the history of the NFL ever had the need to verbalize.
“Stony Brook,” he announced, “in the end zone.”
It was rookie tight end Will Tye, specifically, but it probably felt as if the entire football program and Long Island school were with him.
Tye had been the first Stony Brook product to play in an NFL game since his promotion from the practice squad in October. On Monday he became the first Seawolf to score a touchdown.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I still can’t believe it.”
It was a 5-yard pass from Eli Manning with 44 seconds remaining in the first half that knotted the score at 17. He celebrated by doing a dance called the Milly Rock. After the game, Tye was looking around his locker for the souvenir.
“They’d better have it somewhere,” he said with a smile.
He wasn’t yet sure what he would do with the ball. Perhaps give it to his mother, he said. Or keep it for himself.
Out in the 631, there’s probably a trophy case that would be willing to accept it.
When told of Tirico’s call, Tye joked that he can no longer visit Stony Brook.
“Well, there it is, I just set off another frenzy,” he said. “I can’t go there now. I’m not going to be able to leave.”
At some point, he will.
“That’s good,” Tye said of the publicity he is giving his school. “I can go back there and show that you can do anything. I’m glad I could represent them.”