On Saturday, September 29, 2018, former New England Patriots offensive lineman, Matt Light, will become the 27th inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The enshrinement ceremony will be held at NRG Plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. Light will also be honored with a halftime ceremony at the Patriots home game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Light earned that spot by doing what comes naturally to him. It is what he does best. Simply put, he did so by putting the needs of others before his own.
The ‘Blind Side’
Light, a career-long New England Patriot, held arguably the most important job in the region for more than a decade. That job was protecting quarterback Tom Brady’s blind side. Without fear, Light put himself in the way of defenders seeking to sack his quarterback. In fact, one can make the argument that no one did it better. As a result, Light will take his rightful place in the Patriots Hall of Fame this weekend.
Light spent his entire eleven-year career playing offensive tackle for the Patriots. During his tenure, he was a three-time Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), three-time Pro Bowler (2006, 2007, 2010) and also earned First-team All-Pro honors in 2007. He is still a legend in Foxboro, where he earned numerous team honors including a spot on the New England Patriots All-2000s Team, as well as the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team.
However, Light would be the first one to say that his greatest accomplishments were most likely achieved away from the football field.
Since retiring from the National Football League in 2011, Light has since garnered his passion for philanthropy. His organization, the Light Foundation, was established in 2002. The pride with which Light describes his involvement with the Light Foundation is palpable each and every time he speaks about it. While he is clearly pleased with the work that his Foundation does throughout the year, he is truly gratified by the accomplishments of those it is designed to help. The Light Foundation’s goal is to lead young people down a path to becoming responsible members of their communities. In short, these activities and programs help them to become leaders in society. In turn, they become capable of passing on the torch of leadership and achievement to their friends and families.
From events like the Camp Vohokase Leadership Conference to outings at Chenoweth Trails in Greenville, Ohio, Light is the first to give credit to his amazing staff for the success of these programs. In addition to him and his wife Susie, his mother, father and mother-in-law are all active in the operations of the Foundation. Since its inception in 2002, the Light Foundation has raised more than $5 million for various programs and initiatives throughout New England and the Midwest.
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A Well-Deserved Honor
As he prepares to receive his red jacket on Saturday, Light will likely reflect on the many fond memories he amassed during his career in New England. It is a time to celebrate his numerous on-field accomplishments, and rightfully so. However, Patriots fans would be remiss if they fail to acknowledge that Light should also be celebrated for his contributions to the community. The commitment shown by him and his family to the lives of children will continue to provide hope for many generations to come. It is this selflessness that makes Matt Light a true Hall-of-Famer, both on and off the field.
Congratulations, Matt. In true Patriots fashion, you ‘did your job.’ Without question, you are “red-jacket worthy.”
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC