Lawrence Guy has engrained himself in the community since arriving in New England ahead of the 2017 season.
The Patriots defensive tackle hit the ground running with his wife, Andrea, becoming active philanthropists and creating the Lawrence Guy Family Foundation in 2019. Their generosity over the years hasn't gone unnoticed, with Lawrence earning the Patriots' 2021 nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award as well as the Ron Burton Community Service Award.
Though it still may be difficult for him to visit kids at Boston Children's Hospital, he was thrilled to participate in a virtual appearance for a cause dear to him. The adorable virtual visit included a Q&A segment -- with Guy being asked about Tom Brady, his love of Star Wars, and pregame rituals. It led to Guy hilariously having to explain the concept of smelling salts, and he shared why playing for Robert Kraft's organization has been the experience of a lifetime.
The visit was tied to the NFLPA Community MVP program as Guy was named the Week 11 NFLPA Community MVP. Here is a transcript.
Lawrence takes the first question from a young boy named Jonny who is calling in from his hospital bed.
Jonny: How many years did you play?
Lawrence Guy: I just finished year 11 in the NFL and I've played five with the Patriots.
Jonny: When did you start?
Lawrence Guy: I started playing football in high school. I wasn't cut for it I was little. I didn't have the passion for it but when I got into high school, I found that passion and I kept going with it. And I tell everybody it doesn't matter when you start or how old you are as long as you're dedicated to something you can achieve anything.
Jonny mentions he loves to play football with his friends on the playground at school and showed Lawrence the black and lime green football he and his doctor play with.
Lawrence Guy: That's the best way to do it! A little outdoor football! Do you guys play on grass?
Lawrence Guy: So when I was younger I grew up in a desert. We didn't really have grass, it was a lot of rocks. So we didn't really get that pleasure of playing on grass when I was in middle school.
Jonny expresses interest in learning to play defensive tackle like Lawrence.
Lawrence Guy: But enjoy the position and see how many different spots you can play. Myself, I can play every position on the defensive line. So it was one of those things that you can kind of get to enjoy and have fun.
Jonny: I want to play football in the snow.
Lawrence Guy: I've never played football when it was snowing playing for the Patriots, I've never played when it's snowing. But I have played -8 degrees.
The next question, from a boy named Adrian, asks Lawrence if he's played with Tom Brady.
Lawrence Guy: I did play with Tom Brady.
Adrian: But he left you guys.
Lawrence Guy: He did leave us, right? But we have Mac (Jones) and a player that doesn't like mac and cheese (Matt Judon).
Adrian: Go Patriots! That's how we do! I want to see you on the TV getting a touchdown.
Lawrence Guy: Sounds good to me! I tell people all the time, I was close to getting a couple of touchdowns. One I got the ball and got tackled. Another one, I dropped the ball in the lights. They say don't look into the lights – I looked into the lights.
The Zoom host begins asking questions submitted, and the first one is about what Lawrence would want to do for work if he didn't grow up to be a professional football player.
Lawrence Guy: That's a good question. My dad was a firefighter for about 25 years. My whole family has been first responders and the rest of them, for generations, down in the military. So it would be either the military to become a Ranger or do the fire department. Then I got really good at the sport. I got to go to college and explore that option. That's been a blessing of an opportunity to do what I love.
Another question asks what team Lawrence has enjoyed playing for the most.
Lawrence Guy: Of course, the Patriots! The organization is amazing. The people who work in the organization are great and very helpful, but on top of that, I've been in two Super Bowls. We go to two Super Bowls, you win a Super Bowl or lose a Super Bowl and is so awesome just to get to go. But it's a simple fact that the memories I get to build with my kids. The whole place, from the owner down, they truly care about you. It comes from the owner down. There are a lot of owners in the NFL who really don't care about their players and I feel like Mr. Kraft does.
What was Lawrence's favorite team to watch growing up?
Lawrence Guy: My dad is a Cowboys fan so we watched a lot out of Cowboys games. So it makes it very interesting -- when I go playing the Cowboys my dad doesn't know who to root for. .. I still don't know how my dad is a Cowboys fan, but he is. He grew up in Chicago.
Did Lawrence get to play with Julian Edelman?
Lawrence Guy: I did, Jules is awesome. He was a great person to have in the locker room. I truly enjoyed playing with him and everything he brought to the team -- on and off the field.
Do you ever get intimidated of your coach (Bill Belichick)?
Lawrence Guy: No, no. I could see that with younger players. The name itself is kind of intimidating but as you keep playing the game for so long you grow a lot of respect, and they grow a lot of respect for you. You understand how to coach a man and you accept that not everything is going to be easy. Some things might be hard, you have to take those conversations when you're doing bad. If he's saying something, that means it needs to be done. And you just got to figure out how to do it. The only time that you don't really want to walk into a meeting is when you're late.
What is your favorite Star Wars movie and character?
Lawrence Guy: "The Rise of the Skywalker," that's what's on top right now. But my favorite character is Anakin Skywalker. Anakin was the best Jedi. The best thing I got to do, when the last Jedi was being made I got to do a Star Wars commercial and they got to show me behind the scenes of the first movie because they never thought the movie was going to go past No. 1. They thought it was going to be a one-movie thing and that was it. They didn't think it was going to be good at all. And then it became this bigger thing that nobody thought it was going to be.
What is your pregame ritual?
Lawrence Guy: I have a couple of rituals. One, I get photos of my kids before the game, me and my wife pray together before the game, but the new thing is now that my kids a little bit older -- four and two -- I FaceTime them during the pregame warmup right before we all go out. I'm on the field and they can see the experience that I get to see. Then from there, to get me all pumped up. You listened to certain songs that get you in the moment at that time.
Lawrence goes on to try and explain what smelling salts are, and how he uses them to get pumped up before the game.
Lawrence Guy: It gets you going. I've been doing it for years. I suggest nobody do that.
What is your favorite part of a game?
Lawrence Guy: My favorite part of the game is the opening kickoff. You've got the music leading up, and as soon as the foot touches the ball all the music just stops and now you know the game is really about to happen and you're about to have this joy. It's an amazing feeling. It doesn't matter who's up first -- this is that first kickoff of the game. It's super exciting.