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The legacy of former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners will be recognized at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. In honor of their excellence on and off the field, former Man of the Year winners — and family members representing those who are no longer with us — will gather during Super Bowl weekend for a series of special events and programs.
Before Super Bowl LII kicks off, former winners will be recognized on the field for their contributions to the game and their communities. The Man of the Year pregame recognition will lead up to the introduction of the 2017 recipient.
Players who belong to the exceptional Man of the Year fraternity will be honored, including the family of the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, Pro Football Hall of Famers and Legends Franco Harris, Roger Staubach and LaDainian Tomlinson, and Super Bowl Champions Eli and Peyton Manning.
"For the first time in NFL history, Man of the Year winners will come together on the NFL's biggest stage," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The NFL is proud to host these remarkable leaders and recognize their impact on the community. From the family of the late Johnny Unitas to 2016 co-winners Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning, the most distinguished players on and off the field will share a platform in honor of their accomplishments."
An event for past winners and their families will kick off the weekend on Thursday, Feb. 1 and celebrate the legacy that Man of the Year winners have left on the game and in their communities. To further advance the legacy of Man of the Year winners and create impact in their communities, the event will also be a fundraiser for the NFL Foundation. Money raised will be distributed among both the NFL Foundation and the nonprofit organizations supported by the Men of the Year.
Considered the league's most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field. The 32 nominees for the 2017 award were announced last month. Later this month, three nominees will be announced as finalists for the award renamed in 1999 in honor of Walter Payton.
The winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.
A total of $500,000 dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner — $250,000 to the winner's charity of choice, and another $250,000 in his name to expand the NFL and United Way’s Character Playbook across the country. The other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity and $100,000 in their names to expand Character Playbook. The other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and $50,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette began appearing on uniforms this season to recognize past award winners and current nominees. The five current players who have won the award — Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and Jason Witten — will wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2017 nominees wore a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field. This tradition will continue for future nominees and winners of the award.
Earlier this season, the NFL announced the Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. A total of 500 free tickets will be distributed under the program as a way to give back to dedicated NFL fans and provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each of the 2017 Man of the Year nominees received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to fans and community heroes.
For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
|PAST WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR WINNERS|
New York Giants
|2015||Anquan Boldin||San Francisco 49ers|
|2014||Thomas Davis||Carolina Panthers|
|2013||Charles Tillman||Chicago Bears|
|2012||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys|
|2011||Matt Birk||Baltimore Ravens|
|2010||Madieu Williams||Minnesota Vikings|
|2009||Brian Waters||Kansas City Chiefs|
|2008||Kurt Warner||Arizona Cardinals|
|2007||Jason Taylor||Miami Dolphins|
|San Diego Chargers
New Orleans Saints
|2005||Peyton Manning||Indianapolis Colts|
|2004||Warrick Dunn||Atlanta Falcons|
|2003||Will Shields||Kansas City Chiefs|
|2002||Troy Vincent||Philadelphia Eagles|
|2001||Jerome Bettis||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Green Bay Packers
|1999||Cris Carter||Minnesota Vikings|
|1998||Dan Marino||Miami Dolphins|
|1997||Troy Aikman||Dallas Cowboys|
|1996||Darrell Green||Washington Redskins|
|1995||Boomer Esiason||New York Jets|
|1994||Junior Seau||San Diego Chargers|
|1993||Derrick Thomas||Kansas City Chiefs|
|1992||John Elway||Denver Broncos|
|1991||Anthony Munoz||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1990||Mike Singletary||Chicago Bears|
|1989||Warren Moon||Houston Oilers|
|1988||Steve Largent||Seattle Seahawks|
|1987||Dave Duerson||Chicago Bears|
|1986||Reggie Williams||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1985||Dwight Stephenson||Miami Dolphins|
|1984||Marty Lyons||New York Jets|
|1983||Rolf Benirschke||San Diego Chargers|
|1982||Joe Theismann||Washington Redskins|
|1981||Lynn Swann||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|1980||Harold Carmichael||Philadelphia Eagles|
|1979||Joe Greene||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|1978||Roger Staubach||Dallas Cowboys|
|1977||Walter Payton||Chicago Bears|
|1976||Franco Harris||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|1975||Ken Anderson||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1974||George Blanda||Oakland Raiders|
|1973||Len Dawson||Kansas City Chiefs|
|1972||Willie Lanier||Kansas City Chiefs|
|1971||John Hadl||San Diego Chargers|
|1970||Johnny Unitas||Baltimore Colts|
|1969 – Gladiator Award||Bart Starr||Green Bay Packers|
*The Gladiator Award was the precursor to the Man of the Year Award, which was established in 1970.