In a season mired with perpetual bad press for the NFL, back in October the NFL created a new Sportsmanship Award. According to Troy Vincent (who is now infamous to Vikings fans for other issues altogether) announced that the creation of the Sportsmanship award was to:
"...recognize those who never hesitate to show that excellence in football is not achieved without respect for the game, for their opponents, for the officials and for the fans."
Each team in the NFL nominated one player for this award, and Chad Greenway was the Vikings lone nomination. A panel of former players including Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler sorted through the 32 nominations and whittled the list down to 8 finalists. In addition to Chad Greenway the other finalists include: Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, Patriots receiver Matthew Slater, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and Broncos defense end Demarcus Ware.
Current NFL players will vote for a winner among these 8 finalists for this new award. The winner will be announced the night before the Super Bowl during the NFL Honors awards ceremony, and will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to the charity of his choice. So congratulations to Chad Greenway on receiving this nomination not only from the Vikings, but also from the panel of former players as it is recognition like this that continues to cement his reputation as an all-around good guy. Good luck to him!