Returning Award Winners, New Honorees Selected as 2009 Recipients of NFL 101 Awards

January 27, 2010

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(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 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.