The Gift That Keeps On Giving 🙏❤️
“It’s refreshing to see ballplayers doing something impactful off the field…”
Each year, the NFL in sponsorship with Nationwide, names one player as its Walter Payton Man of the Year for the man who excels on the field and demonstrably gives back with his efforts off of it.
There are 32 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees, one for each NFL team, and to be completely honest, I don’t care who wins it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the award because it’s refreshing to see ballplayers doing something impactful off the field instead of winding up in the headlines for any number of nefarious reasons.
So, I say, good for them – all 32 of them. Making a difference in the community or whatever charitable cause has inspired them to use their platform and celebrity status to lend their support is nothing but a good thing. We tune in weekly to watch the NFL games on TV but the average fan has no idea what these men are selflessly doing behind the scenes to make a difference.
This award would have been called the NFL Man of the Year 2023 if it hadn’t been renamed back in 1999 in honor of the immaculate Walter “Sweetness” Payton, one of the greatest running backs ever to carry the pigskin. But the NFL did the right thing and honored the Chicago Bears tailback who passed away the same year that the award’s name was changed to honor him.
And the Nominees Are…
Dak Prescott made NFL news last year when he was presented with the award for his Faith Fight Finish (FFF) Foundation which bridges the gap between law enforcement and its communities. Colon cancer research, mental health awareness, and suicide prevention are all tenets of the FFF mission statement.
I’m honored to be a part of one of the most amazing brotherhoods in the game and I can’t wait to see who joins us as the 2024 winner of the Walter Payton @NFL Man of the Year, presented by @Nationwide. #WPMOY pic.twitter.com/5y4yBe6jY5
— Dak Prescott (@dak) December 5, 2023
This year’s winner will be announced at the annual NFL Honors show on Thursday, February 8th on CBS, during the run-up to Super Bowl LVIII. The selected recipient will receive a $250,000 donation toward a charity of their choice. All nominees can allocate up to $55,000 toward selected charities.
Patrick Mahomes has again been nominated and it wouldn’t surprise me if he came away with winning the award this year. His 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children. He’s also arguably the best player in the league and this award doesn’t get won by a nobody. That said, all of these players are worthy but the league likes the cachet of having its household names in the limelight for something other than scoring touchdowns and making tackles.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 5, 2023
Cooper Kupp, although a fading NFL star, is also on the list for his off-field contributions to the LA community. Kupp would be just the second member of the LA Rams franchise to win the award with Super Bowl champ and 4x Pro Bowler, Andrew Whitworth, taking home the hardware in 2021.
Difference makers on the field, and in the community. 💛
— NFL (@NFL) December 5, 2023