Heritage Edition – Legacies of the NFL Greats


Image via Carolina Blitz

Lucas Christopherson, Writer

In the NFL there are way too many memorable players to discuss all of them. However, some players or coaches were on a different level than just the good players or coaches. Some of these people were so good or important that they were remembered in a different way than most. These people were remembered with rewards, but not rewards that were given to them. These rewards were named after them so they would be remembered for their talent and career. 

In the NFL there are many accomplishments a player can have, but only a handful of those accomplishments are given rewards. Some of these awards include the Lamar Hunt Award, George Halas Award, The Lombardi Trophy, and Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award. The Lamar Hunt Award is given to whoever wins the AFC championship game (Pro Football Network). This is because, in the early 50s and 60s, there was a league called the AFL or The American Football League that rivaled the NFL. The owner/founder, Lamar Hunt, later merged with the NFL to create the American Football Conference or the AFC. The George Halas Award is given to the team that wins the NFC championship (“Why is the NFC Trophy named after George Halas?”). It’s named after long-time Bears head/executive coach, George Halas. During his time with them, he won 8 NFL championships from 1921 to 1963. These Awards are named after these people because they are icons and the faces of the NFL. They figured that this would be a valuable way to remember them. The Lombardi trophy is probably the most important trophy you could receive in the NFL. It is the trophy you get for winning the Superbowl. Every single team in the NFL strives to receive this trophy, most never get a chance to witness it but those that do will remember it forever. The award itself is named after the first SuperBowl winners ever, well their Head Coach at least. Vince Lombardi was the first head coach to win a Super Bowl; the team that he coached was the 1965 Green Bay Packers (Wikipedia). The Packers also won the year after that, they went back to back! Lastly the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award. This award is like the man of the year in the NFL. It’s named after Walter Peyton because the NFL wanted to honor him for the humanitarian ways he helped on and off the field for the NFL (NCAA). Walter Peyton was on the Chicago Bears and won the 1985 Super Bowl with them (Wikipedia). Walter Peyton could be in many people’s conversations for the best running back of all time so getting that award means a lot to many players who receive it.

 As I stated earlier, there are a lot of players who are really good at the game, but it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. I only named a small number of players and coaches who received awards in their name, but there are so many more to come and I am really excited to see all of them. What I’m trying to say is, that it’s crazy to see some of these players receive these awards and what impact it has on their own legacy as well as the legacies of the people on the trophy.