Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning soon will be making what has become an almost-annual trek to Kansas City, Missouri. Manning will be heading to Kansas City for the fifth time in eleven years to celebrate being named AFC Offensive Player of the Year at the NFL 101 Awards dinner, one of the most prestigious off-season banquets.
Manning also earned the citation from the national media committee, comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL, in 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The award for Manning this year makes him the most decorated player in the 39-year history of the 101 Awards.
Manning will not be the only recipient of prominent standing with the Colts. Former Head Coach Tony Dungy will be honored with the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, a citation created last year to honor the outstanding accomplishments, vision and pioneer spirit of the late owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. Dungy retired following the 2008 season with a career mark of 139-69. He directed the Colts to seven straight playoff appearances and to the Super Bowl XLI title following the 2006 season. Dungy's style mirrored that of Hunt with his outstanding professional ethic and conducting himself in exemplary fashion on and off the field. Dungy worked for Hunt from 1989-91 as defensive backs coach. He was honored as the AFC Coach of the Year at the NFL 101 Awards dinner in 2005.
Manning and Dungy are among other award recipients: Drew Brees (New Orleans), NFC Offensive Player of the Year; James Harrison (Pittsburgh), AFC Defensive Player of the Year; DeMarcus Ware (Dallas), NFC Defensive Player of the Year; Tony Sparano (Miami), AFC Coach of the Year; Mike Smith (Atlanta), NFC Coach of the Year. The event will be held on Saturday, March 7 at the Westin Crown Center.
"All seven of these national honorees have indicated they will attend this year's 101 Awards gala to accept their respective award," said Bill Nelson, longtime civic leader in Kansas City who serves as Chairman of the Committee of 101. "Kansas City is proud of the reputation that this annual salute to professional football has gained throughout the years. We look forward to welcoming a tremendous class of honorees to our city for what promises to be one of the best events in its 39-year history."