By John Ingoldsby, Player Engagement Insider
Patriots’ star James White has made his mark in New England both on and off the field during this banner year for him. The running back started 2017 with his spectacular record-breaking performance in the greatest Super Bowl comeback ever, and then this week was the handpicked choice of former teammate, linebacker Jerod Mayo, to become his partner in hosting the iconic “Mayo Bowl,” or as displayed last night, the “Mayo Bowl hosted by James White.”
“I am so happy that he has passed the torch to me and I certainly intend to do my part in spreading the word,” said White in an exclusive red carpet interview with NFL Player Engagement. “This is a great opportunity to commit to the community, and taking over from Jarod while still working with him on this is truly an honor.”
The reason for his enthusiastic embrace of this new partnering role is that the 8th Annual Mayo Bowl celebrity bowling tournament passed the $2 million mark for funds raised to benefit the Boston Medical Center (BMC).
In officially kicking off the event held as always at Kings Dining & Entertainment complex in Dedham, Mass, former Pro Bowl Linebacker Mayo told the packed house. “Since I started this event eight years ago, it has been all about helping the kids, and I have known James for a while now and there is no better person to pass the torch onto than him to partner with me for this cause.”
That’s because Mayo, who is also on the BMC’s Board of Trustees, recognizes that White shares his commitment to the BMC’s mission to provide consistently accessible health care services to all, which was on display during White’s BMC visit this summer, which he described to the enthusiastic crowd as he accepted the microphone from Mayo.
“I visited the hospital this off-season and to be around those kids, their parents, and staff was truly amazing. Just walking through the hospital and being able to put a smile on the kids’ faces, knowing what they are going through, yet having them be happy to see me really puts life in perspective,” he said, before adding a special memory from that day.
“I remember one boy was shy and clinging to his father, and I talked to him a little bit, and then continued to make my way through the hospital, but the next time I walked by him, he ran up to me and clutched my leg, and those are the moments you think about for the rest of your life. Just to be able to potentially change someone’s life is truly something special, so I want to do whatever I can to keep this going as a great event where we can raise a lot of money.”
BMC president and CEO Kate Walsh then endorsed the new partnership by saying to White, “We are honored, James, to have you become part of this event, and you are now part of the BMC family. We just hope you are as excited as we are, since we are thrilled to have you, and your parents as well who are here tonight, since you are as good off the field as on the field.”
High praise indeed for the high-character, fourth-year player from Wisconsin, who became a household name during the Super Bowl when he scored the winning touchdown, his third which along with a two-point conversion set the record for most individual points in a Super Bowl with 20, to go along with a most-ever 14 receptions.
This performance placed him firmly in Patriots history, which was alive and well at the event with current and former team legends attending as usual, including Devin McCourty, Philip Dorsett Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner, David Andrews, Brandon Bolden, Dion Lewis, Marquis Flowers, Rob Ninkovich, Sebastian Vollmer, Scott Zolak, Tedy Bruschi, and Joe Andruzzi, as well as Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast and Massachusetts native Aly Raisman, and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Lenny DiNardo.
John Ingoldsby is the President and Founder of IIR Sports, Inc., (a sports media firm based in Boston. He has covered the NFL throughout his career that began as a newspaper reporter/editor, which includes articles in Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine (NFL Player Engagement), London-based Financial Times newspaper (NFL's international strategy), the Philadelphia Daily News (annual NFC Coaches Breakfast) and the Boston Globe (Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll).