The 44th Annual NFL 101 Awards gala is this weekend, on Saturday, March 1st at the Westin Crown Center, honoring those in professional football.
Following the NFL season, the Committee of 101 hosts the nationally renowned annual event, which is Kansas City's salute to professional football. The committee includes local business leaders and philanthropists of Kansas City whose goals are to expand the messages of the NFL and the recipients.
A national Selection Committee that is comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters that cover the NFL on a regular basis select the 101 Award winners.
This year's 101 Awards Winners were announced in January and are as follows:
NFC Offensive Player of the Year – RB LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
AFC Offensive Player of the Year – QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
NFC Defensive Player of the Year – LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
AFC Defensive Player of the Year – LB Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts
NFC Coach of the Year – Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
AFC Coach of the Year – Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
It was also announced on Tuesday that Kansas City's legendary signal-caller, Len Dawson will receive the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football.
The award was created in 2007 to honor the life and legacy of the founder of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt. The award is given annually to an individual or group that has played a role in helping the NFL become the preeminent pro sports league in America.
"Words can't express how grateful we are to Len for his contributions to the Kansas City Chiefs, the community and the game of football," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt noted. "Hank Stram may have said it best when he said 'greatness is measured by the test of time, and Lenny passed that test with flying colors.'"
In 1962, Dawson led the Dallas Texans, who became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, to their first AFL Championship in a double overtime victory over the Houston Oilers. Dawson also helped lead the team to Kansas City's titles in both 1966 and 1969 that led to his participation in Super Bowls I and IV. He was named Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl IV.
While still an NFL player, in 1966, Dawson was also a sports director for Kansas City's local ABC affiliate, KMBC 9, until 2011. Following retirement from the NFL, Dawson became a part of the Chiefs Radio Broadcast, a position he currently holds today. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and in 2012 was awarded the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Award for Radio-Television.
"He was an incredible leader in the huddle and an innovator off the field," Hunt said. "His passion and knowledge for the game has led to an incredible broadcast career that Chiefs fans have enjoyed for more than three decades, and we are delighted to honor him with the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football."
Through the years, this prestigious award has also been named to The Foolish Club, Tony Dungy, Monday Night Football, NFL Films, Roger Staubach and Don Shula.
Dawson is in great company and will be honored this weekend at the distinguished black tie event at the Westin Crown Center, along with the six other award recipients for their outstanding achievements in the NFL.