Caribbean News, Latin America News:
News Americas, TAMPA, FL, Fri. Feb. 5, 2021: When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers takes the field this Sunday for Super Bowl LV, a Caribbean roots player who has overcome significant odds, is set to be among the players trying to help to Tom Brady win another Super Bowl.
Haitian-American Jason Pierre-Paul is set to make only the second appearance in The Big Game of his 11-year career. Pierre-Paul, formerly of the New York Giants, has had a hard road to get back to this point.
He was the toast of the New York Giants defense following the 2014 season in which he racked up 12.5 sacks – the second-most in his career behind only his 2011 season (16.5).
But then tragedy struck for the Caribbean American player. He suffered a catastrophic accident four months later in a fireworks mishap at his home that resulted in his right hand being permanently disfigured and his right index finger completely amputated.
“Take everything in,” Pierre-Paul told media this week, via the Associated Press. “Tomorrow is not promised. Super Bowl is not promised for next year. It took me nine years to get back to this point.”
Pierre-Paul was born in Deerfield Beach, Florida to Haitian immigrants Jean and Marie, who arrived in the United States in 1983. At Deerfield Beach High School, Pierre-Paul lettered in basketball for four years. But again tragedy struck. After a serious leg injury while playing basketball, he took up football his junior year.
He was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and agreed to a five-year, $20.05 million deal with $11.629 million guaranteed. He made his NFL debut on September 12, 2010 in the New York Giants’ season opener.
On March 22, 2018, the Giants traded Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On May 2019, Pierre-Paul was involved in a single-car accident and suffered a neck fracture that also put his season in jeopardy. But again, he bounded back. On March 17, 2020, Pierre-Paul signed a two-year, $27 million contract extension with the Buccaneers.
Pierre-Paul finished the 2020 regular season with 55 total tackles, a team-best 9.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions.
In the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, he recorded two sacks on Aaron Rodgers during the 31–26 win.
Kansas City is seeking its second consecutive Super Bowl title – and to be the first team to repeat since the 2003-2004 New England Patriots. The Tampa Bay Bucs are searching for only their second Super Bowl title – the first in 18 years.
Will Pierre-Paul be among those who will make it happen or will another injury sideline him from the second biggest game of his career? Fans will have to wait and see.
Show time from the Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fl is 6:30 PM EST on CBS Sunday.