At Stampede Blue we often try to keep you updated on the good that Colts players are doing for the community, as too often it's only the negative that we hear about. Earlier in the week we mentioned that wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was named the Colts' nominee for the NFL Sportsmanship Award that will be announced at the NFL Honors show in January, and now we're bringing you another Colt who has been nominated for an award that will also be presented during the program. Punter Pat McAfee was nominated for the Salute to Service Award, and in fact he has made the cut to the list of ten semi-finalists.
Per the NFL, this award is for, "players, coaches, personnel and alumni who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community." The NFL and USAA partner annually to present the award at the NFL Honors ceremony (which this year will be held January 31), and this year will mark the fourth year of the recognition. The previous winners consist of late Titans owner Bud Adams (2011), Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (2012), and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (2013). USAA makes a contribution on behalf of the winner to benefit the United States' armed forces.
This is the second straight year that McAfee, who does a lot to support our armed forces, has been nominated for the award. This past summer, McAfee and Colts' tight end Coby Fleener partnered with Wish for Our Heroes to renovate a veteran's home. It's things like that and many others that make McAfee a great influence in the community and a worthy nominee for this award.
The ten semi-finalists for the award are: Bears defensive end Jared Allen, Packers assistant equipment manager Tom Bakken, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, Broncos offensive lineman Ben Garland, Chargers center Nick Hardwick, Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, and, of course, McAfee. The ten semi-finalists were narrowed down from 28 nominees and then will be narrowed down to two finalists in January before the award is presented on January 31, the day before the Super Bowl at the annual NFL Honors ceremony.
Congrats to Pat McAfee on the nomination for this award, but more importantly, credit to him for his involvement and support within the Indianapolis community, including for veterans and our armed forces. He's a horseshoe guy for sure.