Monday Night Football to be Recognized with Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football on 40th Anniversary of Event
(Kansas City, MO) – Two record-setting quarterbacks, two big-play cornerbacks and two standout coaches who led their teams to remarkable seasons have been selected as award winners for the annual NFL 101 Awards – the nation’s only awards event dedicated exclusively to professional football.
The list of NFL 101 Award recipients includes New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as the NFC Offensive Player of the Year and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning as the AFC Offensive Player of the Year. This marks the sixth time Manning has received the award, making him the most decorated player in the 40-year history of the 101 Awards. It’s the third 101 Award in four years for Brees. Both Manning and Brees led their teams to a spot in Super Bowl XLIV.
On the defensive side of the ball, Charles Woodson, cornerback for the Green Bay Packers, is the NFC Defensive Player of the Year, while cornerback Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, is the AFC Defensive Player of the Year. Woodson recorded nine interceptions and returned three of those for a touchdown, tying for the NFL lead in both categories. Revis was named as a Pro Bowl starter after recording six interceptions and consistently shutting down some of the game’s top receivers for the league’s top-ranked defense.
Sean Payton, who guided the Saints to wins in their first 14 games of the regular season and then all the way to the first Super Bowl berth in franchise history, was tabbed NFC Coach of the Year, his second 101 honor in four years. Marvin Lewis was selected as AFC Coach of the Year after turning the Bengals from a 4-11-1 team in 2008 to 10-6 and the AFC North title in 2009, including critical leadership when the Bengals suffered tragedies off the field.
A national media committee, comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL, selected the winners in each award category in a nationwide vote at the conclusion of the regular season.
In addition to these award winners, the Committee of 101 announced the third recipient of the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, created in 2007 to honor the life and legacy of the late owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. Given in recognition of visionary leadership that has helped the NFL become the preeminent pro sports league in America, this year’s award goes not to a person but rather a program – Monday Night Football. Celebrating its 40th anniversary season in 2009, MNF brought the NFL to a prime time viewing audience on a week night and revolutionized the way professional football was marketed to millions of viewers.
The 2009 season award winners will be presented with trophies at the 40th Annual NFL 101 Awards gala in Kansas City Saturday, March 6, 2010, at the Westin Crown Center. The prestigious black-tie awards event was founded in 1969 and has evolved into what many sports insiders consider the finest awards event of its kind.
The awards show hosts for the evening will be NFL Network sportscaster Paul Burmeister and CBS football analyst Rich Gannon, a former NFL Most Valuable Player and two-time 101 award winner.
“It is exciting to be celebrating the 40th anniversary of this prestigious event in Kansas City,” said Bill Nelson, longtime civic leader in Kansas City who serves as Chairman of the Committee of 101. “The award winners have made outstanding contributions to the game of professional football both on the field and off the field. We are proud to host them during this anniversary year and look forward to a special night in their honor.”
In addition to the national winners, the awards dinner will recognize two Chiefs players: the 2009 Derrick Thomas MVP recipient, running back Jamaal Charles, and the Mack Lee Hill Award winner, rookie placekicker Ryan Succop.
The 101 Awards event serves as a benefit for the Chiefs Children’s Fund, a 501(c)3 foundation that distributes funds to various children’s charities throughout the Kansas City area. Event proceeds this year will be specifically directed to the “27th & Prospect” project, one of the most compelling community-focused initiatives in recent Kansas City history. The development of the Morningstar Youth & Family Life Center (PDF) will be the centerpiece of turning this dangerous and crime-ridden neighborhood into a place of hope and inspiration.
While the 101 Awards event is backed by corporate sponsors, the awards dinner is open to the public and a limited number of tickets at $165 are available. Ticket and sponsorship inquiries should be directed to Jeff Hiller at (913) 681-6990 extension 111.
FOR TICKETS AND MEDIA REQUESTS
Laurie Bollig, Premier Sports Management
(913) 681-6990 ext. 117
ABOUT THE 2009 NFL AWARD WINNERS
AFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Peyton Manning – Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
• The NFL MVP for the fourth time, surpassing Brett Favre for the most MVP awards in NFL history.
• Led his team to its second Super Bowl appearance in the last four years.
• Was invited to the Pro Bowl for the 10th time in his career.
• Passed for 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2009.
• Threw at least 25 touchdown passes for the 12th straight season.
NFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Drew Brees – Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
• Voted to his fourth Pro Bowl in 2009.
• Led the Saints to their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
• Led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 34 and a passer rating of 109.6.
• Passed for 4,388 yards and completed 70.6 percent of his passes to lead the league.
• Named the 2008 AP Offensive Player of the Year and the 2006 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
AFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Darrelle Revis – Cornerback, New York Jets
• Named to his first All-Pro team in 2009.
• Led his team to the AFC Championship game.
• Recorded 166 tackles and 14 interceptions in three seasons with New York, including a season-high six interceptions this year.
• A member of the league’s top-rated defense.
NFC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Charles Woodson – Cornerback, Green Bay Packers
• Named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, the first cornerback to win the award since 1994.
• Finished 2009 with nine interceptions, returning three for touchdowns – both tied for the NFL lead.
• Led the Packers with four forced fumbles in 2009.
• Named NFC Defensive Player of the Month three times in 2009,the only player in league history to win the award multiple times in a season.
• Earned his sixth trip to the Pro Bowl.
AFC COACH OF THE YEAR
Marvin Lewis – Head Coach, Cincinnati Bengals
• Voted Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2009.
• Led his team to the AFC North Division title for the first time since 2005, giving him his second division title in seven years as head coach.
• His team swept competition within the division, going 6-0.
• Passed Bengals founder Paul Brown for second place for all-time victories in Bengals history and is eight wins shy of tying Sam Wyche for the lead.
NFC COACH OF THE YEAR
Sean Payton – Head Coach, New Orleans Saints
• Led his team to its first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
• Oversees a high-powered offense that has shattered club records.
• Finished second in the voting for the AP Coach of the Year, an award he won his first season with the Saints.
• Voted The Sporting News’ 2009 NFL Coach of the Year, his second recognition in four seasons.
LAMAR HUNT AWARD FOR PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL
Monday Night Football
• Created by the late Roone Arledge, ABC’s sports broadcasting pioneer, in 1970.
• MNF aired on ABC from 1970-2005 before moving to ESPN.
• Longest running sports series on network TV (36 years with ABC, 1970-2005) and the second longest overall series on network TV only behind CBS’s 60 Minutes.
• The show revolutionized the way professional football was viewed, adding extra cameras in addition to such technological innovations as the use of enhanced slow motion replay and computerized graphics.