Garcia Hawaii-bound


Quarterback Jeff Garcia selected to Pro Bowl, will make fourth
career appearance
Aloha, Jeff Garcia.

It was announced Thursday that Gilroy native Jeff Garcia will be making his fourth career Pro Bowl appearance Feb. 10 in Hawaii.

Originally selected as an alternate at the quarterback position for the NFC, Garcia received the invitation after Green Bay’s Brett Favre declined to attend.

“I’m excited about it,” Garcia said. “It’s my fourth Pro Bowl appearance. Who knows if I’ll have another opportunity like this. Hopefully, I will. But it’s great to be recognized by the league and the players.”

A nine-year veteran in the league, Garcia led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an NFC South division title this season, his first with the team. He posted the fourth highest quarterback rating of his career and seventh highest in the league (94.6) in 13 regular season games, throwing for 2,440 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Bucs’ season ended with a first-round playoff loss to the New York Giants.

Orchestrating an offense that was depleted by injuries early in the season, Garcia played a major role in leading the Bucs to a 9-7 regular season record after the team went 4-12 a season prior.

“Due to the fact that we did not have any players selected (to the Pro Bowl) from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s an honor for me to go out there and represent the team and all of the hard work and success we had as a team this year,” Garcia said. “I think when you have team success, individuals are able to be recognized. And I’m a recipient of that – the team’s success.”

Garcia, in fact, was the only player invited from the entire NFC South division. His attendance will mark the 12th straight year that a Buccaneer has played in the Pro Bowl.

Less than two weeks later, Garcia will be hosting the Second Annual Garcia Pass it On Foundation Dinner & Auction Saturday, February 23rd, at CordeValle Resort in San Martin. The event is expected to draw some of the best current and former professional athletes form the Bay Area, as well as several of Garcia’s past and present teammates.

“We’re hoping to have some of the guys for the Niners, some of the guys from Tampa and some of the guys who played with (the 49ers in the past),” Garcia said.

He added that other NFL quarterbacks who may attend include Donovan McNabb and Drew Brees.

With a silent and live auction accompanying the dinner, proceeds from the event will be distributed by Garcia’s foundation to a host of charities such as the El Toro Youth Center, the Gilroy Community Youth Center, Special Olympics Northern California, Inc., the American Cancer Society and the Laci and Conner Search and Rescue Fund.

“It will be an event that showcases the organizations that we contribute to,” Garcia said.

Tickets are being sold as tables, which seat 10 for $5,000, and individually at $500.

“We’re really pushing for table sponsorships … but we’re not going to turn people away that want to come individually or as a couple,” Garcia said.

The quarterback added that individual tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. For tickets or further details, call (310) 545-4949 or email [email protected]

While the Pro Bowl and fundraiser are highlights in a fantastic year for Garcia, just weeks later, he and his wife Carmella will be sharing a moment more anticipated than the Super Bowl: Saying aloha to the couple’s first child.

Carmella is expected to give birth to a baby girl in March.

“She’ll be quite a ways along (by the time of the fundraiser),” Garcia said. “It will be the last of our travels and I’ll make sure to take care of her and do what a good husband and dad has to do.”

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