Former Patriots Andruzzi, Bruschi close to marathon bombings

Former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi carries a woman from the scene on Exeter Street after two explosions went off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon Monday. (Boston Globe)
Former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi carries a woman from the scene on Exeter Street after two explosions went off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon Monday. (Boston Globe)

There are the New England Patriots, and then there are actual Patriots.

But Joe Andruzzi is a former New England Patriot who is also an actual Patriot – that’s saying something.

Andruzzi was near the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon when two bombs exploded, injuring over 170 people and killing three.

While confusion reigned over the masses during the obviously hectic time, some ran into harm’s way, making tourniquets, carrying the wounded to safety, and helping out any way they can.

Andruzzi was one of those individuals.

Seeing a child struggling to carry an injured woman, Andruzzi raced to the scene, picked up the woman, and carried her to safety.

He’s just one of the many heroes that was born out of that fateful afternoon. Eerily enough, it was Andruzzi’s second brush with terror.

After the 9/11 attacks on New York City, Andruzzi’s brothers were on the scene in minutes as FDNY firefighters. They undoubtedly saw far worse than Joe Andruzzi did on Monday, but it’s clearly in the Andruzzi DNA to help out at the drop of a hat in a time of need.

Andruzzi, a cancer survivor, started the Joe Andruzzi Foundatation, intended to aid cancer patients by providing financial assistance while also funding pediatric brain cancer research. He had a team of runners that were sponsored by his foundation.

Andruzzi wasn’t the only former Patriot near the scene of the marathon bombings Monday. Former linebacker Tedy Bruschi was also there, cheering on “Tedy’s Team” – folks who have been “touched by stroke” – while staying at the Lenox Hotel,literally across the street from where the bombs went off.

He told ESPN what it was like to see the bombs go off from his window.

“When I did [look out the window], [I was] looking out to my right seeing the first explosion, from my vantage point on the left side of the street,” Bruschi said. “Looking at it, I was thinking to myself, ‘Did that just happen, and is that what I think it is?’ And right when I was thinking that, people started running toward me, and I realized what it was when I felt the second explosion to the rear of where I was looking out and sort of felt the whoosh from behind my head.”

It’s a scene that Bruschi certainly won’t forget, and one that perhaps Andruzzi made a little less chaotic.


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