How much rent is he paying? We asked NY Giants quarterback’s mom and dad
Tom and Lexi DeVito watched their son Tommy begin a football journey at age of 5 at their home in Cedar Grove that would take him to Don Bosco High School, where he would lead his team to the Non-Public 4 State Championship, then to Syracuse, Illinois, and a walk on for the New York Giants where he would take them on a three-game winning streak that highlighted their season, culminating in a Monday Night Football win over the Green Bay Packers.
They're going to be celebrity judges at this year's Pizza Bowl 4 Feb. 3 at Redds in Carlstadt. I spoke to them on New Jersey 101.5 in January.
Tom owns DeVito Plumbing and Heating and can be reached at 973-857-6655. He's also the spokesperson for Peerless Boilers. Lexi makes incredible chicken cutlets and can be seen in the latest Rao's commercial "The Official Sauce of Tommy Cutlets."
You must be so proud of Tommy.
"I don't think you could be any prouder of any of your children when they succeed," Tom DeVito said.
You're living the dream of every dad and mom who's ever watched their 5-year-old throw a football. It's gotta be unbelievable for you.
"It really is," Lexi DeVito said. "We're truly blessed right now that this happened to Tommy and all of us, and we have such a fan base. Our friends and our family are just behind us 100,000%."
You could see how behind you they are at the tailgate party before the Giants-Packers Monday Night game.
"That's our staple. We'd love to have parties. The tailgates to in the preseason were great too," Tom DeVito said. "That's what it's about, bringing friends and family together, and Jersey just naturally comes out of us. It's not an act. It's not fake; It's just who we are."
Much has been made of Tommy living at home. Does he pay rent?
"Absolutely not," Tom and Lexi Devito both said.
Why absolutely not?
"Because I didn't leave home until I was 28, and I didn't pay rent," Tom DeVito said.
"You know the goal for any parent who wants their kid get off on the right foot and Tommy or Max (Tommy's brother) are no different. You're welcome here forever. We love them. We love the whole family dynamics of it, and that's the beauty of it try to let them stay home and save money no matter what career you have. You know it's an expensive world out there, so why not get a head start staying at home and keeping the house a family?"
Tommy's story is the story of legend. We've seen the film of him throwing at MetLife in the High School championship for Don Bosco, then he gets to the Giants and his first touchdown goes to Bosco teammate Tommy Sweeney.
"All North Jersey blew up for that run," Tom DeVito said. "Yeah, they were pretty happy to see Bosco to Bosco."
What was it like for you watching that?
Tom DeVito: "You know, it's tough to describe, you know, it's just very emotional. You get tears in your eyes, and you can't believe it's happening" says Tom DeVito. "He had some bad luck in his college career. And finally, the Luck turned his way. God blessed him."
"That first touchdown, we were there in Detroit, and it was just unbelievable. Our phones just exploded. Everybody was just so happy. It was just like, a great feeling. Say, you know what? He belongs, he's made it, you know, because it's such a long, long journey."
It's a Rocky story. Tommy refers to his agent Sean Stellato as the Rocky Balboa of agents; he's actually the Rocky Balboa of quarterbacks.
"Give you a fun story," Tom DeVito said. "So Tommy gets a lot of gifts sent here, and there's a lot of promotional stuff sent here, and my wife's yelling like something happened to one of the kids or the dog to come running upstairs. 'What happened? What happened?' She knew I'd want to see this box. She pulls out a jacket, a fedora bunch of other stuff out of the box. It was sent from Sylvester Stallone. The fedora, Italian Stallion jacket with the R on it.
"I'm not a fanboy of actors, actresses, singers. You know I appreciate them, but I don't go gaga for them for sure. Sylvester Stallone hit home for me for sure. It was such a cool moment that he took the time out to send that to our son. I was pretty amazed."
When New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz was rehabbing his injury, it was young Tommy Devito who threw to him.
Lexi DeVito: "He got invited to throw for Victor Cruz. We were very excited. And he threw some really nice passes to him. And Victor Cruz was very welcoming at his old team, his crew there. And we had a great time, nice pictures, and kept a nice relationship with Victor Cruz. He's a great guy. He really is"
What's next for Tommy?
"He gets into off-season training and gets ready for whatever God has in store for him," Tom DeVito said. "You know, he's been doing it since he's five years old. It didn't happen by accident. You know, he had some injuries in college, which kind of slowed him down a bit. But here he is. And we're thrilled to see what the future holds."
What advice would you give to parents?
Tom DeVito: "My advice to any parent is that you could do whatever you want with your child until they become a teenager; once they become a teenager, you have to take your foot off the gas and start listening."
"It's not easy to do as a parent used to dictating, you know when it comes to teenager, you have to say, oh, maybe this or maybe you should do that. Or you really have to talk to their friends with them in a room. So you're not directly talking to them."
"Because it's a teenager's natural evolution not to listen to their parents. We all did it too."
"It's in some books. It's factual, though. You kind of got to take your foot off the gas once they become a teenager."
"You can mold them in their early years because that's where they get their foundation from, and if you're training them that's where to get the mechanics and muscle memory from"
"When they become teenagers, you're supposed to become, you know, their fan or supporter more than their coach. But the weight training, we did that all the way up till COVID. And then, you know, he was off to the races in college and stuff. And, you know, you let those coaches and those trainers train them that now we're just mom and dad and we're just the fans now, we're not the trainers anymore. In any way, shape, or form. They asked for advice, and we loved it."
How do the Giants feel about all this?
Tom DeVito: "We don't know. Honestly, because we don't talk to the owners." Tom DeVito says.
"We're having fun with it. The Italian hand gesture after the Green Bay game they're all doing in a locker room. And it seems like it's all fun in it. And it's all good fun. I mean, it's great. It's great for everybody. it really lifted the whole tri-state area."
"Everybody had fun with it, and everybody's laughing with it. And let's face it, this world isn't the nicest place anymore in the last few years a lot of people are at odds and the best part about this for us was seeing everybody so genuinely rooting for his story. And given people something to do for three hours to forget about their mortgage payments to forget about their problems at work and just root for local kid you know, that's the greatest gift to see everybody just all the support everywhere we go."
The DeVitos are so grateful for all the support.
"The Giants, of course, what an opportunity they gave him, what a great organization," Tom DeVito said. "The last thing you want to do is do anything to embarrass the Giants organization... That's why we step out of everything, a lot opportunities that were presented to us. We just stepped back because of time and place for everything, and right now, it's God's plan for Tommy.
"We hope he stays here in New York forever. We love it here. We love the area and we'll see what happens."
These are the best NJ high schools for sports
Gallery Credit: Stacker