It’s the night before the biggest game of the football season and it’s time to honour the best of the National Football League.
This season the NFL celebrated 100 years of football. They have marked the occasion with a Centennial Slate of players, coaches, and non player greats for induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Donning a hot pink jacket, comedian and game show host Steve Harvey is hosting the annual NFL Honors for the second year. Harvey notes that he is a Cleveland boy and doing something that most Browns coaches can’t do…come back for a second year.
Harvey wants to address the issue of racial diversity in the NFL and he says that he has an answer. Give them one black coach and they will give two white cornerbacks. Give them one black kicker and holder and they will give you two white punt returners. And the big one…give them one black owner and they will give you an all white football team! And with all white uniforms and they will be called the Montana Miracle Whips!
Harvey calls football players the greatest athletes.
Disturbed by some of the penalties, he calls the false start the dumbest penalty in football. Telling Commissioner Roger Goodell that they need to speed up the game, get rid of the false start and let them flinch or clinch. Give them three free clinches per player per game…and let them let out a little scream.
The first award of the night was for Defensive Player of the Year and went to Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots.
The award for Comeback Player of the Year went to Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.
The Draft Kings Daily Fantasy Player of the Year to Christian McCaffery of the Carolina Panthers.
The award for Defensive Rookie of the Year went to Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers. Nick’s brother Joey won the year a few years ago to make them the first brothers to win the award.
The award for Offensive Rookie of the Year went to Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals.
New Hall of Fame coaches Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher presented the film for the member of the Centennial Class for the Hall of Fame.
The Salute to Service Award went to Donnie Edwards for his work with veterans including 33 remembrance trips.
Grammy Award winning artist Darius Rucker spoke on perfection in football – the 1972 Miami Dolphins and their perfect season. Several of the players from that team are in the audience.
Steve Harvey returns to the stage to introduce the number one character in NFL history…Joe Namath…who is in the house. Steve even put on a fur coat saying it was Joe’s original fur coat that he bought at an auction. Goes through the pockets pulling out stuff including a little black book; starts reading names – Betty White.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes the stage with the children of Walter Payton – Brittany and Jared – to announce the winner of the annual Walter Payton Award. Each team chooses a player that exemplifies the humanitarian efforts conducted by the man known as Sweetness.
The Seattle Seahawks won the Celly of the Year Award for their “Bye Bye Bye” touchdown dance celebration.
The award for Coach of the Year went to John Harbaugh – head coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Harbaugh said that it is really a team award.
As a part of the 100th year of NFL, a list of 100 all time players was announced.
And the newest members of the NFL Hall of Fame are:
Representing the Centennial Class is:
Coach Bill Cowher
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
Coach Jimmy Johnson
The FedEx Air and Ground NFL Players of the Year are Lamar Jackson and Derek Henry.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees presents the award for Offensive Player of the Year to Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints.
Steve Harvey returns to talk with fans who were on the losing side of fantastic plays.
The Anything but Ordinary Award went to Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.
The award for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship went to Adrian Peterson.
The Deacon Jones Award for most sacks went to Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brett Favre presented the In Memoriam segment of those players and NFL personnel who have died over the past year.
Peyton Manning paid tribute to NBA Basketball star Kobe Bryant and the other victims of the helicopter crash last week.
Steve Harvey returns and wants to start a team of his own – the all clench team.
The Clutch Performance of the Year Award went to the Miami Dolphins for the punter throwing a touchdown pass to the kicker; known as the Mountaineer Shot.
The Courtyard Unstoppable Performance of the Year Award went to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
After clips of players dancing, the award for Most Valuable Player went to Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens. He was chosen in a unanimous vote.
Presenting the final award of the night, New York Giants quarterback and former Man of the Year Award winner Eli Manning presented the award for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award to Jacksonville Jaguars’ Calais Campbell. He is met on stage by several previous Man of the Year winners.