Greenway up for Sportsmanship Award, Walter Payton Man of the Year

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Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway has been named one of eight finalists for the NFL's Sportsmanship Award.

The award, which is new this year, will be presented annually to an NFL player who "best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition," according to the league.

Greenway was chosen one of the finalists after every NFL team nominated one of its players for the award earlier this season.

The finalists were selected by a panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community. The panel members are Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

The winner of the sportsmanship award will be determined by a vote of current NFL players.

The eight finalists are:

  • Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers
  • Chad Greenway, LB, Minnesota Vikings
  • Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
  • Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
  • Troy Polamalu, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Matthew Slater, WR, New England
  • Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City
  • DeMarcus Ware, DE, Denver Broncos

The winner of the award receives a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice and a trophy honoring the recognition.

According to The Daily Norseman, the nomination helps to cement Greenway's reputation as an all-around good guy.

Not that there was much doubt about it. Minnesotans will remember that last June, Greenway came to the assistance of a couple of stranded boaters on Lake Minnetonka near the spillway at Gray's Bay Dam.

The winner will be announced the night before the Super Bowl during the NFL Honors awards ceremony.

Greenway, on Tuesday, was the Vikings' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

NFL.com has all 32 nominees. The award is named after Bears Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. It recognizes outstanding performance both in the community and on the field. Here's the Vikings' submission for Greenway.

"Since arriving in Minnesota in 2006, Chad and wife Jenni Greenway have joined the battle against childhood illness. Over the past 6 years, the Greenways "Lead The Way Foundation" has raised over $1.3 million dollars, and has touched the lives of nearly 8,000,000 individuals through three distinct programs. The first program entitled, "Chad’s Locker" is in all five Minnesota Children’s Hospitals. "Chad's Locker" is an electronic hub filled with iPads, portable gaming devices, laptops, Leap Pads, Xboxes, DVDs and more intended to help distract children during overnight treatments and provide families a link to the outside world. In an effort to support the entire family, the Greenways host an annual TendHER Hearts luncheon for 200 mothers of chronically and critically ill children to dine, find support in one another and be pampered. A third program, the Field of Dreams, was established to present chronically ill children and their families with magical memories by fulfilling sports wishes and vacations dreams. Outside of his foundation, Chad is a huge supporter of other outreach programs. Each year, Chad partners with the Hutchinson REACH program and co-coaches a three day football and life skills camp. In addition, annually the Greenways host the Gridiron Gallop 5K each Father's Day to raise money for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board."

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