Chris Godwin isn’t giving the shirt off his back. But it’s pretty darn close.
The former Penn State wide receiver and Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie has put together a set of new t-shirts for sale online, with proceeds going toward relief for victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
“We’re all stronger together as a country, with everything going on, with Houston, with Irma,” the former Nittany Lions star told Land of 10. “We felt that this was a way for us to kind of do our diligence as far as coordinating to our cause to a national disaster. We feel like doing it this way, where people can buy our shirts and get something back in return — while donating money to the cause as well.”
The shirts feature the logo for the new business venture, Team Godwin, launched by Godwin and girlfriend Mariah DelPercio, on the front, and the phrase “Stronger, Together” on the back:
Godwin said the shirts — which can be purchased at the Team Godwin site — will be available once the site goes live later this month.
“It’s for a good cause,” said Godwin, a third-round selection of the Buccaneers in April after recording 154 catches and 2,421 receiving yards over the last three seasons for the Lions. “And right now, more than ever, it’s important for all of us to come together as a nation and [help] everybody that’s being faced by these natural disasters.”
Harvey and Irma reportedly did a projected $290 billion in damage over the last three weeks across the southern tier of the United States. And with nearly two months left in the hurricane season, more storms could follow in their paths.
“We saw how badly the hurricane really affected Houston, and right now we’re dealing with Irma going on,” said Godwin, whose Buccaneers’ previously scheduled opener with Miami was moved to November because of Irma’s wrath, giving him an unexpected bye week during Week 1 of his rookie season. “We were just like, ‘We could combine the whole thing. We can start our business but also do our part to help out.’
“We were really inspired by what [Houston Texans star and former Wisconsin Badgers player] J.J. Watt was doing, the money he was raising.”
trying to contain my excitement here – you’re looking at the official logo of Team Godwin! @_chrisgodwin and I are officially Team Godwin, LLC. We’ll be launching a website soon with fitness programs, workout videos, blog posts, an inside look at our story, and possibly apparel? Let us know what you’re interested in! We want to have as big a part as we can in helping people become healthier, happier, more confident and positive individuals. . and as always… work harder #teamGodwin®
As Irma blasted through Florida, Godwin and DelPercio stayed in Tampa and hunkered down. Harvey was felt personally, too: Mariah’s father, Mark, is in his first season as a coach and teacher at Ridge Point High in Missouri City, Texas, just outside Houston.
“So they had to evacuate, they had to get out of town over the last couple of weeks,” Godwin said. “So it was kind of crazy. That was the first time we were affected by something like a hurricane. … It really hit us pretty hard, to have that happen to somebody that we know.”
Godwin estimated that close to 80 percent of his new Buccaneers teammates left town last weekend during the Irma-forced bye, and that coach Dirk Koetter told them to “take care of yourselves. Just make sure we take care of our families, take care of our loved ones. Make sure we’re safe, no matter where we’re at.
“Hopefully, I don’t ever see [a Week 1 bye] again. It’s a little weird. Even when you were in college, during the bye week, you’re in the facility all day, every day. You’re used to playing a game on the weekend. Here, it’s a special situation — you have time off. It’s up to you what you’re doing with it.”
Godwin logged 7 catches for 100 yards in the preseason and started the third August contest against Cleveland, grabbing 4 passes for 56 yards. He’s also impressed Koetter and the Tampa Bay brass with his maturity, his athleticism and his versatility to step into any of the various receiver spots — slot man, outside, whatever — within the Bucs’ scheme:
— WeAreLegends (@WeArePSULegends) September 4, 2017
— PFF TB Buccaneers (@PFF_TampaBay) September 8, 2017
“I’m really excited,” Godwin said. “I’m a guy that likes to be real honest with myself; I like to recognize when I have a lot of improvement to do. Nevertheless, I’m really excited about this first season, really excited about this first game.”
Turning the page to football is the next trick, given that about 3.3 million homes and businesses in Florida still were without power as of Wednesday evening — including more than 177,000 customers in the Tampa area serviced by Tampa Electric.
“It’s uncharted territory,” said Godwin, whose Bucs host the Chicago Bears (0-1) Sunday. “We just want to do whatever we can to help everybody involved, to help everybody impacted.”