The NFL has announced the 32 nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and long snapper Nick Sundberg is the Redskins’ representative.
Each team nominates a player for the award each year, then the three finalists are announced in January. The winner of the national award will be announced at the NFL awards ceremony on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl.
Sundberg recently teamed up with the Redskins Charitable Foundation to launch a program called Loads Of Love, which provides underprivileged children with clean laundry, the goal being to give them the confidence to show up to school when they otherwise might be too embarrassed to attend.
Sundberg acknowledged the foundation with his cleats last month. Those cleats were then put up for auction along with the cleats of several of his teammates.
The Loads Of Love program was launched at Magnolia Elementary School in Prince George’s Co., and the plan is to install washers and dryers in schools that have students without access to clean clothes. Sundberg approached the Redskins Charitable Foundation with the idea in fall of 2016, according to the team, and he donated $25,000 of his own money to get the program going.
“Everybody deserves a fair shot, but not everybody has it,” Sundberg said. “So if we can help even one more kid graduate that wouldn’t have, or one more kid want to go to school that generally wouldn’t, then it was totally worth it.”
J.J. Watt, the nominee for the Houston Texans, is likely the favorite for the award after raising more than $37 million for area victims of Hurricane Harvey.
There are serious matters at stake for this award — $500,000 worth, to be specific. The winner of the national award is given $250,000 to donate to a charity of his choice, and $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook, a digital learning initiative focused on youth character development and healthy relationships.
The other two finalists will receive $200,000 apiece to be split 50-50 in that manner, and the other 29 nominees will receive $100,000 to be split the same way. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and United Way Worldwide. Additionally, each Man of the Year nominees receives a pair of tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl to give away to inspirational individuals.