Panthers' Teddy Bridgewater Honored with Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
The NFL continued an established tradition on Saturday as it presented its annual honors. The awards are now given each year to honor the best players in their respective areas of the game as well as off-the-field participation in relation to the league. However, this year, was very different. Amid the concerns for protecting players, fans and officials from Covid-19, there were strict limits to how many people were allowed at the awards ceremony. So the usual hoopla that fans are used to was absent this year.
Despite the Carolina Panthers' 5-11 season, the organization did get some attention during the awards broadcast. Panthers' quarterback Teddy Bridgewater won the 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition. The award also comes with a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his Bridgewater's choice.
The award was founded in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.
It was Bridgewater's first time being nominated as a finalist for the award on a short list of Carolina Panthers' players. The only other Carolina player to be nominated to the list is retire linebacker Luke Kuechly in 2017.
AP AWARDS WINNER TEAM
AP Most Valuable Player delivered by Pizza Hut Aaron Rodgers GB
AP Coach of the Year presented by Bose Kevin Stefanski CLE
AP Comeback Player of the Year presented by Visa Alex Smith WAS
AP Offensive Player of the Year Derrick Henry TEN
AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald LAR
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year by Microsoft Justin Herbert LAC
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year by Microsoft Chase Young WAS
AP Assistant Coach of the Year Brian Daboll BUF
NFL AWARDS WINNER TEAM
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year by Nationwide Russell Wilson SEA
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Teddy Bridgewater CAR
Deacon Jones Award T.J. Watt PIT
Fan of the Year presented by Subway Brandon Galloway TEN
In addition to the Awards, the 10th Annual NFL HONORS presented by Invisalign included a tribute piece on the "Inspire Change" initiative presented by P&G, recognition of Visa's Small Business Big Impact program, an honor to Larry Fitzgerald by Bridgestone for his clutch off-field performance and a feature on Laurent Duveray-Tardie, the Kansas City Chiefs player who opted out of the 2020 season to work as a hospital doctor in Montreal combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event precedes the biggest day in American sports. The NFL will kickoff the Super Bowl game for the 55th time on Sunday when Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (16-2) take on Tom Brady the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-5).
Date: Sunday Feb. 7
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL