Usually, the occasion on the eve of the Tremendous Bowl — a two-hour prime-time awards particular during which the league and the Related Press title their annual award winners and the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame class is introduced — is a pink carpet affair stuffed with a number of of the league’s greatest stars dressed to the nines with and followers cheering exterior the venue as they might arrive.
As a substitute, NFL Honors this 12 months was produced prematurely, airing on CBS on Saturday. Listed below are a number of the highlights:
Notable award winners included Inexperienced Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who received 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 bought engaged.
However to who? He did not reveal.
“It is an honor to win this award for the third time,” Rodgers mentioned on the CBS broadcast. “2020 was undoubtedly a loopy 12 months stuffed with a number of change, development, some wonderful, memorable moments. 100 eighty straight days of getting my nostril hair scraped. And I am enjoying for, you already know, little or no followers or no stands all the season. I bought engaged, and I performed a number of the finest soccer of my profession.”
In his thank yous, Rodgers included his teammates, the Packers teaching employees, his unnamed fiancee — and he even slipped within the title Jodie Foster.
Alex Smith wins comeback participant of the 12 months
Moreover, Washington Soccer Staff quarterback Alex Smith, who wanted 17 surgical procedures after struggling a life-threatening leg damage, received 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 a whole lot of anxiousness and potential doubt about clearly how my leg goes to carry up, to an incredible rush of thrill, pleasure, that feeling of going on the market once more and enjoying, I by no means thought I would get that again,” Smith mentioned.
Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson first-ballot Corridor of Famers
Peyton Manning is the one beginning quarterback to have received 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 completed one thing else that Brady probably will do in the future: 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 data in profession passing yards (71,940), profession passing touchdowns (539) and consecutive seasons with no less than 25 passing touchdowns (13). He earned Professional Bowl honors 14 occasions and and was named the league’s most precious participant 5 occasions.
Earlier this week, Brady mentioned Manning “was somebody that I all the time simply admired as a quarterback, as a pacesetter of a staff.”
“I all the time appeared as much as Peyton as a result of he was a little bit bit older than me, and he was all the time doing issues the best means,” Brady mentioned Wednesday. “His staff was all the time in it. I do know our groups had a rivalry in opposition to each other. Once you went in opposition to a Peyton Manning-led staff, you have been going in opposition to (probably the greatest 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’
Sometimes, 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 befell just about final month. And Baker traveled to the electees, knocking on a number of doorways, and, in Woodson’s case, stunning him exterior as he was with a digital camera crew being interviewed. Manning was shocked at Empower Subject at Mile Excessive in Denver, Colorado.
“I promise I will dwell as much as what the Corridor of Fame is all about and now you are giving me an opportunity at immortality,” an emotional Pearson mentioned to Baker.
The Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame’s class of 2021 will probably be enshrined August eight in Canton, Ohio. The ceremony for the category of 2020, which was postponed final 12 months due to the pandemic, will probably be August 7.