During its storied history, the NFL has produced countless professional football players who have embodied the attributes needed to be successful on and off the field: hard work, dedication, loyalty, disciple, selflessness, and sacrifice, to name a few. But rarely have we seen an athlete exemplify the total package in all aspects of life like retired wide receiver, Ed McCaffrey.
Ed McCaffrey Early Life
McCaffrey played 13 seasons in all in the NFL for the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and the Denver Broncos, and he played well as a pass-catcher; he was a great teammate, and exceptional ambassador of the game. However, it was his days growing up in the industrial town of Allentown, Pennsylvania where he developed the skills to succeed on and off the gridiron. He was the elder of five children and set the example early and often demonstrating just how tough and smart he had to be to get ahead in “steel country.” His dad, Ed Sr., instilled a blue-collar work ethic, and though he was a very good athlete in his own right playing a year of basketball for St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, he stressed that education was first and foremost, with athletics being considered a privilege. As a result, Ed McCaffrey attended Allentown’s Central Catholic High School where he excelled as a student while simultaneously becoming a standout football and basketball player. His perseverance in the classroom and success as an athlete earned him a ticket to Stanford University in California where he’d suit of for Cardinal’s football team. His college career hit a high note when he was selected as an All-American his senior year. While there, Ed McCaffrey met his wife, Lisa Sime. According to Ed, it was “love at first sight.” Sime was an exceptional soccer player at Stanford, but her athletic prowess surprised no one, as her father was a world-class athlete who, at one time, held world records in six different sprint events. He was a 3-sport athlete and a silver medalist. That was her dad, her boyfriend, Ed, however, was on his own path to greatness.
Ed McCaffrey NFL Career
It was the 1991 NFL draft when the dream of becoming a professional football player became a reality. The New York Giants drafted the deceptively speedy McCaffrey in the third round. In his three years playing under pair of head coaches, Ray Handley and Dan Reeves, Ed McCaffrey put up modest numbers hauling in a total of 92 catches and scoring seven touchdowns. In 1994 he signed a one-year deal with the 49ers. Though it was only for a season, it certainly counted. The Niners were stacked on both sides of the ball with such defensive stars like Deion Sanders, Richard Dent and Charles Mann, while the offense was led by future Hall of Famers, Steve Young and Jerry Rice. Despite McCaffrey’s limited playing time, he was reliable and key contributor throughout the season which saw San Francisco winning its fifth Super Bowl title. In fact, 49ers offensive coordinator at the time, Mike Shanahan, said McCaffrey was the “best, most consistent blocker of any receiver I’ve seen.” And Deion Sanders, who played opposite him at corner said, “The guy can run,” Sanders says. “He’s one of my favorites. He finds a way to get open.”
But it wasn’t until the following year where McCaffrey found a home where he could become a top target on a very good team, and that team was the Denver Broncos whose offense was directed by one the game’s greatest at the quarterback position in John Elway. In his first three years in Denver, McCaffrey proved to be a reliable asset tallying over 1,600 receiving yards and catching nine touchdown passes. But it was the following three seasons, 1998-2000, where he really came into his own as a wide receiver in the NFL. In ‘98, he became a 1,000-yard receiver when he compiled 1,053 yards on 64 catches. In ’99 he duplicated his efforts with 1,083 yards on 71 catches, and in ’00, his best year as a pro, McCaffrey totaled 1,317 receiving yards on 101 catches and nine touchdown receptions. Two of those years were particularly special as the Broncos won its first two Super Bowl championships in ’98 and ’99. After being hampered by a series of injuries, he called it quits and retired at the end of the 2003 season.
Ed McCaffrey Mustard & Select Condiments
He was a fan favorite in Denver, and even had his mug featured on select condiments—Ed McCaffrey’s Rocky Mountain Horseradish, Ed McCaffrey’s Spicy Brown Mustard , and an action shot of him playing football on a cereal box called Ed’s End Zone O’s. The“Ed McCaffrey mustard” called Ed McCaffrey’s Spicy Brown Mustard (that comes in a 2-pack or 6-pack), Ed McCaffrey’s Dijon Mustard and a horseradish sauce, Ed McCaffrey’s Rocky Mountain Horseradish. All are available at grocery stores all across Colorado and some in Nebraska. If you don’t have the luxury visiting any of the brick and mortar locations, no problem, you can still order a pack at plbsports.com, along with a number of other online retail outlets. The significance of an Ed McCaffrey mustard is that he’s put his own passion and energy into his product, so you can bet that he’s putting out the best product possible.
The Ed McCaffrey Foundation
During his playing days he formed the Ed McCaffrey foundation consisting of The McCaffrey Family Foundation which focuses on children with a goal of assisting any child who suffers through a medical situation in which it hinders their ability to be successful in life, whether it hampers their finances or academic output, the Ed McCaffrey Foundation is there to help. He founded SportsEddy, which is an organization through which he runs athlete camps for football, lacrosse, soccer, baseball and basketball. There’s the Ed McCaffrey “Dare to Play” football camp and the “Dare to Cheer” cheerleading camp, each focusing on individuals with Down syndrome. The Ed McCaffrey foundation is produced in partnership with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
Ed McCaffrey High School Coach
On February 6, 2018, Ed McCaffrey was named head football coach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. McCaffrey would become the school’s third coach in its brief but successful history. The athletic program was beginning to see some turnover with the athletic director and head coach, Rod Sherman, abruptly stepping down making room for the ex NFL star to take over. McCaffrey, though, cited some concerns over his availability given how frequently he travels to see his sons who play in the NFL and at the collegiate levels.
Ed McCaffrey’s Sons
Ed McCaffrey’s son, Max McCaffrey, broke into the NFL as an undrafted free agent and signed his first professional contract with the Oakland Raiders. In an interview with USA Today, his dad said, “Max is faster than me…I’m not afraid to admit it. He’s always been fast. Speed is something I always worked on really hard. He does have some God-Given speed and I think that will serve him well.” In just two years, however, Max has been the property of six different teams, with his current place of employment residing with the San Francisco 49ers as a wide receiver like his dad before him. Ed McCaffrey’s son, Christian McCaffrey, is coming off a strong rookie year as a running back for the Carolina Panthers, and is expected to continue his form in his sophomore season. Of Christian, Ed stated, “Christian’s pretty darn fast, too. You should see [the two of them] when they compete. It’s crazy.” ED McCaffrey’s son, Dylan, is a quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines, and, Luke, his youngest will likely occupy the starting quarterback role at Valor this fall while playing for his dad.
It was clear that what Ed McCaffrey’s sons picked up in life, had been put down by their dad: The hard work, dedication, loyalty, disciple, selflessness, and sacrifice, are ever present and it’s clear, to this point, it has paid great dividends.
As a football player, few can say they’ve ever accomplished what Ed McCaffrey did over the course of their career as an individual player, and as a member of a team. And as significant as all the touchdowns he caught, and Super Bowls (3) he was fortunate to win, Ed McCaffrey found a way to make just as big an impact off the field as he did on with his charity work.
So, as Ed McCaffrey prepares for his next venture with Valor Christian High School, he continues to do good will among thousands of people throughout the world from his charitable work; he’s selling his Ed McCaffrey Mustard products successfully, and he can now take pride in watching his four sons follow in his footsteps as they embark on a career in the NFL. Two generations of professional football players and, if you’ve learned anything about the McCaffrey clan, you can bet it won’t end there.