INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts have named tackle/guard
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide, recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award, which was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, is considered the league’s most prestigious honor. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community to be considered for the national award.
Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists, and the winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX.
Reitz is in his sixth season with the Colts has competed in 70 career games and has made 43 starts at multiple positions including, left guard, right guard, left tackle and right tackle. He has been part of 39 victories with the Colts.
A total of $1 million will be donated in the name of the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, with $500,000 going to a charity of his choice and $500,000 supporting the expansion of Character Playbook across all NFL markets. The two finalists will each receive a $125,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a $125,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook and the additional 29 team winners will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to implement Character Playbook in their club market. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
To further celebrate and encourage fan support of the 32 team Man of the Year nominees, Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Award, will host the second annual Charity Challenge. As part of the social media challenge, each nominee will have a unique hashtag, and fans will be encouraged to tweet using the player hashtags. The player hashtag that generates the most mentions will win an additional $25,000 donation to his charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide.
In 2015, the Colts nominated defensive end
Below is a copy of Reitz’s nomination for the national award:
Indianapolis native Joe Reitz has represented the Colts with professionalism on and off the field for seven seasons with the team. He has not only been a stalwart on the field, but in the community as well.
Reitz, has always been a player who recognizes the power of his platform and how to use it to make a difference in the lives of others. He has channeled his faith into his charitable endeavors, including being active in Christian outreach efforts and Indianapolis CYO events.
Reitz champions several causes. He supports football on a youth level by hosting two youth football camps at local high schools. Over the last eight years, he has dedicated a full Saturday to “A Day with Joe Reitz” camp with the kids of St. Louis de Montfort focusing on faith, family and football. In 2015, Reitz also hosted a Special Olympics mini combine.
As a father of two daughters and a son, Reitz dedicates his time in support of All Pro Dad’s. He has donated his time as a regular guest speaker at several breakfast events, as well as hosting two All Pro Dad events at the Colts practice facility.
Reitz lends his time and energy to other causes close to his heart. For the last four years, Joe and his wife, Jill, have hosted a Tackling Homelessness event for Horizon House to support homeless relief efforts.
At each Colts home game, Reitz donates 20 tickets and meal vouchers to underserved and homeless youth in Indiana as part of the team’s Community Ticket Block program.
Reitz is a leader in the locker room, amongst his teammates and in the Colts community. In 2015, Joe was named the team’s nominee for the Byron “Whizzer” White award. He was also the recipient of the 2015 Ed Block Courage Award, which recognizes courageous play from a select player on each of the 32 NFL teams.
Some of Reitz’s other charitable contributions, include volunteering at The Lord's Pantry at Anna's House, helping host a "Super Bowl Saturday" with St. Louis de Montfort youth, and giving away food and snacks for the Stringtown community of Indianapolis.