Feb 052017
Eli Manning, New York Giants (February 4, 2017)

Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald were named co-winners of the “Walter Payton Man of the Year” award for 2017. The award recognizes NFL players for excellence on and off the field. It was established in 1970, and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Manning is the first New York Giants player to win the award.

Manning is incredibly active in a number of charities, many of which focus on children, including March of Dimes, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tackle Kids Cancer through Hackensack University Medical Center, the Robin Hood Foundation, the American Red Cross, the Scholastic’s ClassroomsCare program, and the Eli and Abby Manning Children’s Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi.

“This is very special,” Manning said. “To be mentioned in the same sentence with Walter Payton and to see the amount of people that we’ve helped with the great work we’ve done over the years with my family, and for that to have grown as much as it has and be recognized for this award, is special.

“I knew no Giants player had won this award. I’m very happy to represent the New York Giants and (Giants Vice President of Community and Corporate Relations) Allison Stangeby and all the people who have helped me in my charitable work to be recognized and be part of the fraternity of the Walter Payton Man of the Year winners is very special.

“My commitment is to help sick kids. Their struggle isn’t easy, but their spirit, their laugh, their smile, and their belief that everything will be okay continually amazes me, and hurts me at the same time.  If we and the NFL and others in our communities commit to step in, we can lessen that struggle, ease that hurt, spark that hope. I challenge everyone here to help some person in need. You choose. But go out of your way to make a difference in someone’s life. I promise you, it’s worth it.”

Two former players who played briefly for the New York Giants  – place kicker Morten Andersen and quarterback Kurt Warner – have been voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2017.

Andersen played 25 seasons in the NFL, including the 2001 season with the Giants. That season, Andersen converted 23-of-28 field goal attempts and 29-of-30 extra point attempts.

Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, including the 2004 season with the Giants. That season, Warner started nine games, completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 2,054 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. Then rookie Eli Manning finished as the starting quarterback for the final seven games of the 2004 season.

Hall of Fame New York Giants