One of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League, Peyton Manning has been selected as the 10th recipient of the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football for his positive impact to the game, both on and off the field, during his illustrious playing career.
Manning will be presented with the award at the 48th annual NFL 101 Awards on Saturday, February 24, in Kansas City, Mo. He will be joined by AFC and NFC player and coach of the year honorees from the 2017 NFL season at the black-tie gala benefiting The University of Kansas Health System.
Established in 2008 to honor the life and legacy of the Chiefs founder and sports visionary, the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football symbolizes the influence Hunt had in the development of professional football while also personifying his personal attributes. It is given annually to an individual, group or entity that has helped shape the NFL into the most prominent sports league in America. Previous winners have included NFL Films, Tony Dungy,Monday Night Football, Paul Tagliabue and last year’s honoree, broadcasting legend Al Michaels, among a decade-long list of notable award recipients.
“In addition to being one of the greatest to ever play the game, Peyton Manning reshaped the way the quarterback position is played and transcended the sport to become one of the most popular athletes of his generation,” said Clark Hunt, Chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs and son of the award’s namesake. “Throughout his career and into retirement, he has handled the many demands of a superstar with class, respect and dignity. Our family is thrilled to add Peyton's name to the outstanding list of previous recipients over this first decade of the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football.”
In one of the most storied careers in NFL history, Manning redefined the role of quarterback in the NFL. In 18 seasons (1998-2015), Manning captured five NFL MVP titles—a league record—seven first-team All-Pro honors, 14 Pro Bowl selections, two NFL Offensive Player of the Year awards and one Super Bowl MVP (XLI) recognition. Playing for 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four for the Denver Broncos, Manning led each of his teams to a Super Bowl victory and a combined record of 186-79 as a starter. By the numbers, he achieved legend status, setting NFL marks for career passing yards (71,940), career touchdown passes (539), seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards (14), touchdown passes in a single season (55), passing yards in a season (5,477) and most career game-winning drives (56) among many others.
Manning’s innovative style and subsequent success ushered in a new breed of NFL field general. A well-noted student of the game, Manning took his intense game preparation and translated it into the precise dissection of opposing defenses. Leading predominantly from an unhurried no-huddle offense, he commanded orders directly from the line or the shotgun based on what he read in the defense and was able to wield a strong passing game in what was then a run-dominated league. With Manning’s unique—and highly successful—approach to the game, came a new, pass-friendly era of NFL football.
As much as Manning meant to the game on the field, his career as a high-profile NFL player was also marked by his acute understanding of the responsibilities that come with that position. He was renowned for the respect he showed not only to coaches, teammates and competitors, but also to club personnel, media and sponsors, while his amiable and humor-driven public personality endeared him to the nation. Manning’s commercials and product endorsements were met with positive regard, and his television appearances—including his highly rated 2007 Saturday Night Live hosting performance—drew massive audiences.
Outside of the spotlight, Manning prioritized philanthropic ventures, most notably in Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee—the site of his college career—and his home state of Louisiana. Shortly after beginning his NFL career, Manning and his wife, Ashley, started the Peyback Foundation, designed to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided more than $13 million in grants and programs in the aforementioned states. Also, for his dedication in supporting its efforts, the St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis renamed its children’s hospital to the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent in 2007.
The nation’s longest-running salute to professional football, the 101 Awards has annually honored outstanding achievement in the NFL based on votes by a selection committee of national media. Founded in 1969, the 101 Awards has recognized many of the greatest players and coaches ever to take the field throughout NFL history. This year’s class includes AFC Coach of the Year Doug Marrone, NFC Coach of the Year Sean McVay, AFC Offensive Player of the Year Antonio Brown, NFC Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, AFC Defensive Player of the Year Calais Campbell and NFC Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.