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Madieu Williams Named 2010 Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the one true highlight from tonight's Super Bowl action.

Prior to kickoff this evening, the announcement was made for this year's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The three nominees were Oakland Raiders' cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije, and the Minnesota Vikings' own Madieu Williams. Idonije and Asomugha were on hand in Dallas for tonight's award presentation, while Williams had other plans. . .see, he was over in the Persian Gulf visiting our men and women in uniform as part of a goodwill tour, an arrangement that he had already agreed to previously.

And then, via satellite, and surrounded by members of the 4th Infantry Division, Madieu Williams accepted the 2010 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

"It is a tremendous honor to win this award named after Walter Payton, one of the greatest men to ever play in the National Football League," said Williams, surrounded by service members in Iraq. "I'm sorry I couldn't be there to accept the award, but it's an even greater honor to be here with the 4th Infantry Division and Task Force Iron Horse."

As I said when the nominations were announced a while back, we gave Madieu Williams a lot of flak. . .and rightly so, in most cases. . .for his on-field performance. But what he's done off the field can't be denied, and will be felt by many people for a much longer period of time than anything any other player has done on the field.