Unsung hero is a term thrown around a lot in sports-often a description for those individuals who work hard and do all the right things but might not necessarily get all the glory. This is especially true for offensive linemen in football, like Pete Brock, who worked in the trenches and may have been unknown to some fans because he was not a marquee, skill player. There are definitely occasions though, on and off the gridiron, when linemen stand out. The moments on the field may make a super star, but it's those opportunities away from the game that define a champion.
Known as Mr. Versatility during his 12-year career with the New England Patriots, Pete Brock played every position on the offensive line. He was the ultimate gamer. He won the 1979 Unsung Hero Award, the 1984 Jim Lee Hunt Award for best Patriot Lineman, the 1985 Ed Block Memorial Courage Award for great sportsmanship and courage, and helped take his team to the Super Bowl in 1985. His passion for the game and competition did not retire when Brock hung up his helmet and cleats in 1987. To many in the Boston area and in the NFL, it has been Brock's post-play performance that has truly shown his strength and leadership.
Brock serves as President of the New England Patriots Alumni Association - taking the organization to new levels by building a new website and improving alumni networking. He also has his own segment called "Brock's Breakdown" as part of the pre-game show on 98.5 FM, the Sports Hub in Boston. Earlier this year, Pete Brock was honored by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston with their "Man of the Year" award. This honor is given to a former football player who not only demonstrated great skills on the field, but who has continued to make a difference by giving back to the community.
A North Shore resident, Brock excelled on the fields of Foxboro but more importantly he is a game-changer down the street at the Hockomock Area YMCA, where he serves as the chairman of the Y's Legends Ball event. In addition to his hands-on role, generating funds and awareness for the Y's biggest fundraiser and the many audiences served along the Southwest Corridor, Brock is also quietly engaged in Y programming efforts that help integration children grow, learn and prosper in a safe, supportive environment.
Brock's own brother, Joe, was diagnosed in kindergarten with a learning disability, so helping the Hockomock YMCA Integration Program truly is a labor of love. Growing up, Joe looked up to his brothers—being 1 of 8, and all great athletes—but Pete and the rest of the family see Joe as the hero and inspiration.
On Tuesday, November 19th – the Hockomock YMCA will spread the love for Brock when the incredible duo of Rick and Dick Hoyt pass the 8th Annual Legends Ball Legends Award baton to the former #58. In the company of the many members, Y leaders, sponsors, families and local sports legends - Brock will be honored for being an iconic individual who has made a significant difference in the lives of many.
The Legends Ball will be held on Tuesday, November, 19th at Lake Pearl Luciano's in Wrentham, MA from 6 pm to 10 pm. For more information about getting involved or attending, call 508-643-5251 or visit hockymca.org.