Surprising no one, Eric Berry is the Kansas City Chiefs nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Each NFL team announced their nominee this week. Three finalists will be announced in January and the winner will be chosen at the NFL Honors show the night before the 2016 Super Bowl.
Berry's story is widely known now. He was taken out of the Chiefs November 2014 game against the Raiders with chest pain and doctors found a mass and later diagnosed him with Hodgkins Lymphoma. We didn't expect to see him for a while but on the first day of training camp this year the Chiefs announced he was coming back. All he's done since then is play like one of the NFL's best safeties.
Eric and his mother met privately with the parents and young patients at Children's Mercy Hospital to discuss their journey even before Eric knew he was cancer free. Under his name, over $107,000 in donations have been made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Next, EBF will raise money to fully support CMH's Christmas store, which allows CMH parents to shop for toys within the hospital, without incurring the expense or leaving their children. Eric Berry is a tremendous asset to the Chiefs organization, the NFL and the communities he supports. His dedication to the community makes him a worthy recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.
The Chiefs lead the NFL with five Man of the Year winners:
2009: Brian Waters
2003: Will Shields
1993: Derrick Thomas
1973: Len Dawson
1972: Willie Lanier
A little more on the award:
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.
An elite panel of judges including Commissioner Roger Goodell, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Connie Payton, Anthony Muñoz, LaDainian Tomlinson and the 2014 award recipient, Thomas Davis, will select the overall winner. The three finalists will be announced in January 2016. The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL Honors awards show, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50, from 9-11 p.m. ET on CBS.
Each of the 32 team nominees receives a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice. The two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 donation to their charity of choice. The winner will receive an additional $50,000 donation to his charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of NFL Foundation and Nationwide.