Greg Olsen Snubbed at NFL Honors Ceremony
Nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen somehow didn’t win…
Greg Olsen has long contributed off the field to his foundation and the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. It seemed that on a night when an award would be given away recognizing both on and off the field contributions that Olsen was finally guaranteed his due recognition.
The NFL Honors Ceremony, held the night before Super Bowl LI in Houston, was a star studded affair honoring many accomplishments of fellow NFL stars throughout the season. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award was one such honor given yearly for a player’s volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field.
Each team nominates one individual for the award and those 32 are then narrowed down to three possible recipients before the award presentation. This season Nationwide, a sponsor of the award, held an additional contest for a charitable contribution to the winning player’s charity of choice. During the social media competition, Olsen dominated the competition. In second place entering the final weekend, fans of both Olsen and the Panthers took over.
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Olsen received over 1 million mentions as San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith finished second with about half of Olsen’s total, and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats third at approximately 200,000 mentions total.
The finalist for the award: Olsen, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Both respectable and each with a deserving charity of their own but neither was close in the “voting” that took place prior to announcing the winner, or winners. In the history of the award only twice since 1970 have their been co-recipients. Derrick Brooks and Jim Flanigan each won in 2000 while Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson shared the prize for the 2006 season.
On Saturday night it was Fitzgerald and Manning.
Again, each and every nominee is deserving of the honor but either one wins or they all win. Olsen should not be penalized for winning the earlier competition already guaranteeing his charity an additional sum. If anything, the overwhelming support for his cause should have placed him head and shoulders above the competition.