Troy Vincent of the Philadelphia Eagles, recipient of this year's Byron "Whizzer" White Award, will be honored along with 32 current NFL players, including Green Bay Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, at the 30th Annual NFL Fever/NFL Players Awards Gala, on Thursday, April 10, 2003 at the Hilton Washington Hotel. A cocktail reception and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and awards gala to follow at 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by the NFL Players Association and PLAYERS INC, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFLPA, the event recognizes and honors one player from each NFL team for his contributions both on the field and in his community. Both NFL players and fans cast ballots for their heroes. The Byron "Whizzer" White Award was named to commemorate the spirit of Hall of Fame inductee Justice Byron "Whizzer" White, a remarkable athlete who exemplified leadership on and off the field through his humanitarian efforts and his public service achievements as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. All proceeds from the banquet are donated to D.C. Special Olympics.
Troy Vincent's community service activities are numerous, including work with organizations such as the Police Athletic League, Boys & girls Club, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Young Scholars Program. He serves on the board of directors for the Philadelphia Business Leadership Series, the Christian Business Network, and the Professional Business and Financial Network. Vincent's community honors include the Pennsbury Athletic Hall of Fame (2003), Philadelphia Emmy Humanitarian Award (2003), Philadelphia Eagles Hero Award (2002), Philadelphia Man of the Year Award (2001), NFL New Jersey Association's Player of the Year (2001), Sporting News Good Guy Honor Roll (2001), NFL Alumni Man of the Year Award (2000) and the Ed Block Courage Award (1994).
One Unsung Hero will receive the first ever 2002 Kids Choice Award, given to a player for his commitment to youth programs; as selected by the winner of an essay contest held in several middle schools in District of Columbia. The participating students were asked to write about the importance of NFL player involvement in community youth programs. The Kids Choice Award winner will be named at the gala.
As a precursor to the evening activities, several of the NFL players will participate in a basketball game with Special Olympics athletes at Gonzaga High School on Thursday morning from 10:00am until noon.
The event is being filmed for a one-hour television special set to air in early August on FOX Sports Net, and will feature FOX personalities James Brown and Pam Oliver. Bonnie Bernstein of CBS Sports and local sports anchor Rene Knott of WJLA-TV in Washington, will serve as emcees for the awards gala on Thursday night.
Since the Awards Banquet was founded in 1972, the NFL Players Association has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to several worthy causes. For the eighth consecutive year the banquet will benefit the Washington D.C. Special Olympics. Founded by Eunice Shriver, Special Olympics provides sports training and competition opportunities for people who are mentally challenged.
The organization has established chapters in more than 20,000 communities and 140 countries around the world. For the last several years, the D.C. chapter has lost funding from the City, and the NFLPA and PLAYERS INC have rallied behind them to solicit support from local and international unions and corporations.
NFL Fever, the title sponsor of the gala, is Microsoft Game Studios' exclusive football title for the Xbox video game system. NFL Fever 2004 is due out in stores this summer, just in time for the start of the 2003 season.
About PLAYERS INC
Founded by the NFLPA in 1994, PLAYERS INC creates and develops marketing opportunities for current and former NFL players. Representing over 1,800 active and 3,000 retired NFL players, PLAYERS INC "takes the helmets off the players", giving fans the opportunity to see the players' personalities and talents off the field. PLAYERS INC is involved in licensed merchandise programs, corporate sponsorships and promotions, special events, music and video recordings, as well as television, radio and Internet (www.nflplayers.com). PLAYERS INC schedules more than 2,500 NFL player appearances each year.
Schedule Of Events
Basketball Game w/ NFL players and Special Olympics Athletes (Gonzaga High School, 19 "I" Street, N.W.) 10:00 a.m. -- Noon
Cocktail Reception/Silent Auction (Hilton Washington Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Avenue) 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Dinner/Awards Ceremony (Hilton Washington) 6:30 p.m.
2002 Unsung Heroes
Arizona Cardinals - Frank Sanders
Atlanta Falcons - Keith Brooking
Baltimore Ravens - Edgerton Hartwell
Buffalo Bills - Larry Centers
Carolina Panthers - Mike Rucker
Chicago Bears - Olin Kreutz
Cincinnati Bengals - Lorenzo Neal
Cleveland Browns - Brant Boyer
Dallas Cowboys - Dexter Coakley
Denver Broncos - Ed McCaffrey
Detroit Lions - Cory Schlesinger
Green Bay Packers - Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila
Houston Texans - Seth Payne
Indianapolis Colts - Tarik Glenn
Jacksonville Jaguars - Wali Rainer
Kansas City Chiefs - Priest Holmes
Miami Dolphins - Tim Bowens
Minnesota Vikings - Chris Hovan
New England Patriots - Adam Vinatieri
New Orleans Saints - Michael Lewis
New York Giants - Dan Campbell
New York Jets - Kevin Swayne
Oakland Raiders - Roland Williams
Philadelphia Eagles - Brian Mitchell
Pittsburgh Steelers - Lethon Flowers
San Diego Chargers - Donnie Edwards
San Francisco 49ers - Fred Beasley
Seattle Seahawks - Mack Strong
St. Louis Rams - Grant Wistrom
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Shelton Quarles
Tennessee Titans - Kevin Carter
Washington Redskins - Jon Jansen
Byron Whizzer White Award Winner
Troy Vincent - Philadelphia Eagles