Joe Andruzzi disputes that he’s a hero


It’s easy, and correct, to refer to Joe Andruzzi as a hero after he was photographed carrying an injured victim of the Boston Marathon bombing.

But the former Patriots offensive lineman objects to that characterization, saying he was merely doing what needed to be done.

I am definitely not a hero,” Andruzzi told Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. “I am just a bystander, and that led to my help. Many heroes that I look upon are people like my three brothers that are running into burning buildings when others are running out. Explosions are going off and they are driving their cars down Boylston [Street] right into the heart of the scene. They are the people that don’t care about their safety and are worried for other people’s safety and survival.”

Andruzzi’s brothers were New York firemen who rushed into the city after the attacks on the World Trade Center of Sept. 11, 2001.

His Joe Andruzzi Foundation was in the midst of a post-marathon party, after 21 runners (including former Pats linebacker Matt Chatham) had raised $163,000 for families dealing with cancer.

But when the bombs went off, he began helping, carrying others to help.

“But during this whole tragedy, I was amazed by all of the emergency workers there and how they sprung into action, it was truly amazing,” he said. “It was a medical tent that turned into a triage center and from the yellow jackets to the white jackets to the police, firemen, EMTs, when I tell you that it was split seconds, I could not believe how fast they sprung into action. A lot of them are trained for that. But even the others who aren’t trained, civilians sitting on the side that sprung into action, it was truly amazing.

“It’s one of those sights that you’ll probably never forget. To be able to turn around and know that there are many people out there that are looking to help and want to help, when you get into those moments, you don’t think, you just do. That’s what I did and that’s what many other people did.”

And while Andruzzi might object to the attention he received, his actions in the face of a tragedy define him, and so many others, as heroes — for going in to help instead of running away to safety.

21 responses to “Joe Andruzzi disputes that he’s a hero

  1. Sounds like a really good dude, that lady is lucky that a big former nfl o lineman was there to help her. Maybe he’s not a hero in his eyes, but I bet he’s a hero in her and others eyes. Well done, Joe.

  2. I hope it is a real kick in the ass for the people that set these bombs off. Instead of everyone running away, many ran to the assistance of the people hurt. In their attempt to make people afraid and divided, they instead made them strong and together! Hats off to Andruzzi and everyone else that helped out in Boston!!

  3. I agree with Andruzzi, we bandy around this word “hero” to the point where it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Anyone who does the decent, moral thing is called a hero. Someone who helps a stranger knowing that they’re probably going to die doing it, *that’s* a hero.

  4. To joehadenisland:

    Knowing Joe from the New Patriots Alumni Association, he IS a good dude. He is always there to help the community through his foundation and the Alumni Association. Last time I saw him, he was there (during a nasty snow storm) to support a runner and help raise funds for her and the community. A “hero” is not just someone who endangers their own life to help others – he/she is there all the time to serve others.

  5. “His Joe Andruzzi Foundation was in the midst of a post-marathon party, after 21 runners (including former Pats linebacker Matt Chatham) had raised $163,000 for families dealing with cancer.”

    This also makes him a hero.

  6. The one blessing in all of this was all the emergency personnel on hand just as a normal part of the race. This allowed an instant response and there might be many more dead if the wounded had had to wait several minutes before ambulances and emts were on the scene.

    Not to mention the likes of Joe and the others who jumped in and helped as best as they could.

  7. Mr. Andruzzi,

    You describe what your brothers and others like them do as being worthy of being called a hero and you are most certainly correct. What you failed to realize is that you did exactly that, you ran into a blast zone to help others with disregard of your own safety. So while you may not want people calling you a hero, and most who are act the same way, your actions were heroic, maybe even more so because you were not trained like the brave first responders are. I am sure the people you helped are most gracious and the first responders are as well. In the time they needed the most help you were there to lend a hand.

  8. We must remember this kind of thing when we hear of the next NFL player getting into serious trouble for what ever reason, that most about 99.9% are decent people. As far as Joe Andruzzi is concerned no he was not running into a burning building or under a hail of bullets but what he done he didn’t have to do, there was probably a ton of people who could have picked the lady up but he was the person that produced when she needed help which is not always easy.

  9. Nice work good sir.

    Sorry to make light of the situation, but JA is a really big dude, I would expect him to dwarf any woman he’s carrying. He doesn’t look that much bigger than the lady he’s carrying.

  10. Many people make a life of heroic actions but that doesn’t mean that in split moments he can’t be a hero or at least someones hero. He’s one of many hero’s from that day.

  11. Not surprised to hear his response, and definitely don’t think there’s any false modesty in what he’s saying. Great guy, and typical Pats player from the dynasty teams….emphasis on the team, not any one individual.

  12. I think the term “Hero” is way over used. Joe Andruzzi is obviously a good guy that did the right thing in an awful & dangerous situation. I commend him for his courage and hope & pray for all of the victims. I also hope & pray for swift justice!

  13. Would you expect anything less from him? I love this guy and have never met him in my life. Boo the Pats, but go Joe go.

  14. I think the fact that he is unwilling to accept the “hero” tag speaks volumes about this guy. So humble, and thinks that is what he would be expected to do in that situation.

    I definitely like reading about athletes doing things like this, but I also like to remember the thousands of nameless and faceless individuals who display acts of heroism on a daily basis and go unmentioned.

  15. Next time you hear about a player arrested for domestic abuse or dui or breaking any law pull out this article and remind yourself that 99% of NFL players are awesome people who give back to their community.

  16. The real heroes always say they are not, that they just did what anyone else would. The firefighters, EMTs, police, and military all say they are just doing their job. They don’t seek the spotlight or look for thanks. That is just who they are.

    Thank you to all of them, including Joe Andruzzi, anyway.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!