Pro Football Writers Association

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The Pro Football Writers Association (sometimes Pro Football Writers of America) (PFWA) is an organization that purports to be "[the] official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public."[1] Goals of the organization include improving access to practices and locker rooms, developing working relationships with all teams, and ensuring that football writers are treated in a professional manner. As of 2005 the group consisted of over 300 writers, editors, and columnists who cover pro football. ESPN's Denver Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold is the organization’s president for the 2015-17 term.[2]

The PFWA issues the following awards: an All-NFL team published by Pro Football Weekly, one NFL Most Valuable Player Award (since 1975), the Dick McCann Memorial Award, the George S. Halas Courage Award, the Good Guy award, the Horrigan Award, and the Rozelle Award.


All-NFL Team[edit]

See: All-Pro#Pro Football Writers Association All-NFL Team

NFL Most Valuable Player Award[edit]

NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award[edit]

NFL Rookie of the Year Award[edit]

NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award[edit]

George S. Halas Courage Award[edit]

Note: The George S. Halas Courage Award should not be confused with the Newspaper Enterprise Association's George S. Halas Trophy that was awarded to the NFL defensive player of the year from 1966 to 1996, or the NFL's George Halas Trophy that is awarded to the National Football Conference champion.

The George S. Halas Courage Award is given to the player or coach who has performed with abandon despite injury or personal problems.

In May 1970, the Halas Award went to Gale Sayers for his comeback from knee surgery to lead the NFL in rushing in 1969.[3] In New York, at the Pro Football Writers Association banquet, Gale Sayers gave an emotional speech that was memorialized in the film Brian's Song. Said Sayers, "You flatter me by giving me this award, but I’ll tell you here and now that I accept it for Brian Piccolo. Brian Piccolo is the man of courage who should receive the George S. Halas Award. I accept it tonight, but I’ll present it to Brian tomorrow. I love Brian Piccolo. And I’d like all of you to love him, too. And tonight, when you hit your knees, ask God to love him, too."[4][5]

Other notable winners of the PFWA Halas Award include Joe Namath,[6] Steeler running back Rocky Bleier, Hall of Fame cornerback Jimmy Johnson,[7] New York Giant cancer survivor Karl Nelson,[8] Hall of Famers Dan Hampton and Joe Montana,[9] Denver Broncos guard Mark Schlereth,[10] former N.Y. Giant Kerry Collins,[11] San Francisco 49ers Garrison Hearst [12] and Bryant Young,[13] Carolina coach and former linebacker Sam Mills,[14] Dolphins running back Robert Edwards,[15] Carolina linebacker Mark Fields,[16] Indianapolis Colt Head Coach Tony Dungy,[17] New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees,[18] New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft (first NFL owner and first Patriot to receive one),[19] and former Saints safety and ALS patients' advocate, Steve Gleason.[20]

Good Guy Award[edit]

The PFWA Good Guy Award has been given annually since 2005 to an NFL player "for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs."[21]

Year Winner Team
2005 Jerome Bettis Pittsburgh Steelers
2006 Tiki Barber New York Giants
2007 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers
2008 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers
2009 Kurt Warner Arizona Cardinals
2010 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints
2011 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
2012 Tim Tebow Denver Broncos
2013 Tony Gonzalez Atlanta Falcons
2014 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks
2015 Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks
2016 Thomas Davis Carolina Panthers
2017 Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals

Jack Horrigan Award[edit]

Since 1974, the PFWA has given an annual award named in memory of sportswriter Jack Horrigan, to honor a league or club official "for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job."[22] The most recent five winners have been Thomas Dimitroff (2012), Mike Signora (NFL Vice President of Football Communications) (2013), Pete Carroll (2014), Bruce Arians (2015), and John Elway (2016).[22]

Dick McCann Memorial Award[edit]

See: Dick McCann Memorial Award

Rozelle Award[edit]

The Rozelle Award is given to the club public relations department that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media. It is named after Pete Rozelle, the fourth commissioner of the NFL.

Past presidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pro Football Writers of America". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  2. ^ "PFWA Presidents". PFWA. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Gale Sayers - Suffers Serious Knee Injury - Season, Award, Piccolo, and Brian - JRank Articles". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  4. ^ Michael E. Eidenmuller. "Movie Speech from Brian's Song - Gale Sayers Accepts George Halas Trophy for Courage". American Rhetoric. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  5. ^ "ESPN Classic - Courageous Piccolo never lost hope". 2003-11-19. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  6. ^ Archived from the original on November 14, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Archived from the original on October 24, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Joseph McDonald (2006-05-03). "The Bookends Interview: Karl Nelson :: NY Sports Day - Independent New York Giants Coverage". NY Sports Day. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  9. ^ "Vic Carucci and Football". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "PLUS - PRO FOOTBALL - Halas Award Goes To Giants' Collins -". 2001-06-19. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  12. ^ "49ers Champ's Incredible Fan Paradise Paradise Press". 2002-06-20. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  13. ^ Archived from the original on October 4, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Panthers 20, Rams 7 - NFL - Yahoo Sports". 2004-12-12. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ "McGinest tackles some topics - The Boston Globe". 2005-07-24. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  17. ^ [3] Archived October 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ [4] Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Robert Kraft selected as PFWA's 2012 George Halas Award winner | New England Patriots". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  20. ^ "Steve Gleason selected as PFWA’s 2015 George Halas award winner", New Orleans Saints, June 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "Good Guy Award | PFWA". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  22. ^ a b "Jack Horrigan Award". Retrieved April 14, 2017.