While on vacation with his family following a disappointing New York Giants season, Eli Manning got a call from the wife of NFL Hall of Famer Bart Starr, Cherry Starr.
“This is a beautiful day for me because I’m calling to let you know that you are going to be the recipient of the Bart Starr Award at the Super Bowl this year,” Cherry told Manning.
The Bart Starr award is given annually to a player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. It is the only league award, other than the Pro Bowl, that is voted on by the players.
The award honors Starr’s lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates and community. Past winners of the award include Calais Campbell, Benjamin Watson, Peyton Manning, Anthony Muñoz, Derrick Brooks and Drew Brees.
With an around his daughter, Manning tells Mrs. Starr how grateful he is to receive the honor.
“I’m sorry we lost him this past year and I’m sorry I never got to meet him,” Manning said. “An honor - something I will cherish forever, and I will greatly cherish the chance to be associated with Bart Starr and what he stands for”
The group of nominees for the 2020 Bart Starr Award included 10 men who all have impressive resumes both on and off the field.
“Each year we have watched the players identify those who are living up to the expectations set by this award’s namesake. Manning is a top-notch player who is truly making a difference in the world, and we are thrilled to recognize his effort and good work,” said Terry Bortz, Super Bowl Breakfast Director
Manning is involved in numerous charities and organization out of football. He and his family built “The Eli Manning Children’s Clinics” at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi. He also supports numerous charities including Tackle Kids Cancer Initiative, Hackensack University Medical Center, Children’s of Mississippi Capital Campaign, March of Dimes, New York March for Babies, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, American Red Cross, Scholastic’s Classroom Care Program and the PeyBack Foundation.
Eli’s brother Peyton also won the Bart Starr Award in 2015, making this the first set of brothers to win the award since its inception in 1989. He also received the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2016.
“I just wish Bart were here to know because you know how he feels about the entire Manning family,” Cherry said.
Manning will be awarded the Bart Starr Award on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, the day before Super Bowl LIV, when fans will join sports legends in South Florida for the 33rd annual Super Bowl Breakfast. The breakfast will feature members of Bart Starr’s family – his wife Cherry and son Bart Jr. along with Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning, Jerry Kramer, Anthony Muñoz, Derrick Brooks and James Brown.
“Bart Starr left the NFL with an incredible legacy of kindness, humility, charity and compassion. Though many fans may not recognize his name today, most players know exactly who he is because of his impressive record on and off the field,” said Bortz.