Usually, the occasion on the eve of the Tremendous Bowl — a two-hour prime-time awards particular through which the league and the Related Press identify their annual award winners and the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame class is introduced — is a pink carpet affair crammed with a number of of the league’s largest stars dressed to the nines with and followers cheering outdoors the venue as they might arrive.
As a substitute, NFL Honors this 12 months was produced upfront, airing on CBS on Saturday. Listed below are among the highlights:
Notable award winners included Inexperienced Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who gained the Related Press NFL MVP award for the third time in his profession.
Rodgers profitable this award wasn’t stunning. The shock, nevertheless, got here as he low-key introduced in his acceptance speech that he received engaged.
However to who? He did not reveal.
“It is an honor to win this award for the third time,” Rodgers stated on the CBS broadcast. “2020 was positively a loopy 12 months crammed with numerous change, development, some wonderful, memorable moments. 100 eighty straight days of getting my nostril hair scraped. And I am taking part in for, you realize, little or no followers or no stands the complete season. I received engaged, and I performed among the finest soccer of my profession.”
In his thank yous, Rodgers included his teammates, the Packers teaching workers, his unnamed fiancee — and he even slipped within the identify Jodie Foster.
Alex Smith wins comeback participant of the 12 months
Moreover, Washington Soccer Group quarterback Alex Smith, who wanted 17 surgical procedures after struggling a life-threatening leg damage, gained AP comeback participant of the 12 months honors.
Smith sustained the devastating damage after being sacked in opposition to the Houston Texans in November 2018 and suffered a spiral and compound fracture to his proper tibia and fibula. He fought for his life after contracting sepsis — the physique’s life-threatening response to an infection — and almost needed to have his leg amputated.
“From clearly quite a lot of anxiousness and potential doubt about clearly how my leg goes to carry up, to a tremendous rush of thrill, pleasure, that feeling of going on the market once more and taking part in, I by no means thought I would get that again,” Smith stated.
Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson first-ballot Corridor of Famers
Peyton Manning is the one beginning quarterback to have gained Tremendous Bowls with two totally different franchises — although he would possibly acquire some firm as quickly as Sunday if Tom Brady and the Buccaneers win Tremendous Bowl LV.
Manning has now accomplished one thing else that Brady seemingly will do sooner or later: He is been elected to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in his first 12 months of eligibility.
Additionally getting of their first 12 months on the poll are cornerback/security Charles Woodson and extensive receiver Calvin Johnson. The remainder of the category of 2021 is security John Lynch, offensive lineman Alan Faneca, extensive receiver Drew Pearson, coach Tom Flores and contributor Invoice Nunn.
On the time of his retirement, Manning held NFL information in profession passing yards (71,940), profession passing touchdowns (539) and consecutive seasons with at the least 25 passing touchdowns (13). He earned Professional Bowl honors 14 occasions and and was named the league’s Most worthy participant 5 occasions.
Earlier this week, Brady stated Manning “was somebody that I at all times simply admired as a quarterback, as a frontrunner of a workforce.”
“I at all times regarded as much as Peyton as a result of he was slightly bit older than me, and he was at all times doing issues the suitable method,” Brady stated Wednesday. “His workforce was at all times in it. I do know our groups had a rivalry in opposition to each other. While you went in opposition to a Peyton Manning-led workforce, you have been going in opposition to (the most effective groups) within the league. It is no actual shock that he’d be a first-ballot Corridor of Famer. An incredible participant.”
‘You are giving me an opportunity at immortality’
Usually, within the Tremendous Bowl host metropolis, the Corridor of Fame choice committee would meet and vote on the day earlier than the sport. In earlier years, a number of of the finalists could be sequestered in resort rooms, ready to see if they might get “the knock” from Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame president David Baker.
However due to the pandemic, the vote passed off nearly final month. And Baker traveled to the electees, knocking on a number of doorways, and, in Woodson’s case, stunning him outdoors as he was with a digital camera crew being interviewed. Manning was stunned at Empower Area at Mile Excessive in Denver, Colorado.
“I promise I am going to reside as much as what the Corridor of Fame is all about and now you are giving me an opportunity at immortality,” an emotional Pearson stated to Baker.
The Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame’s class of 2021 will likely be enshrined August 8 in Canton, Ohio. The ceremony for the category of 2020, which was postponed final 12 months due to the pandemic, will likely be August 7.