Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has started three games for the team this year, helping lead Indy to three wins and playing well in the process. He has been a crucial part of the Colts' success this season (what success they have had, that is) and has moved from being a team leader off-the-field (which he was in 2013 and 2014) to being one on-the-field as well this year, and his teammates have noticed the way he carries himself on the field.
Because of that, Matt Hasselbeck was named by his teammates as the Colts' nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. This is an award that honors those players who display outstanding sportsmanship on the field. Sportsmanship is something the NFL cares about, and this award was created last season in honor of the late Art Rooney, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a man universally respected around the NFL. According to a release sent out by the league, "the award is presented each year 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."
All 32 teams nominate someone for this award, and then a panel of former players will narrow it down to eight finalists (four from the AFC and four from the NFC). At that point, current players will be able to vote for one of the eight finalists when given their Pro Bowl ballot on December 18, and each team will submit a consensus vote for one of the finalists (they cannot vote for their own teammate).
The winner of the award will be announced during the annual NFL Honors show the night before the Super Bowl, which this year will be Saturday, February 6. The winner receives a $25,000 scholarship given to the charity of his choice, along with a trophy honoring him. Last year, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the inaugural winner of the award.
Congrats to Matt Hasselbeck on this well-deserved honor, as he always conducts himself in a great way and is respectful both on and off the field. His teammates have noticed, and it's nice to see him get some public recognition for it as well. Hasselbeck, along with other Colts players like Joe Reitz (the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner), Pat McAfee (the team's Salute to Service Award nominee), and many others, have made a positive impact on the community both on and off the field, and that's as good of a definition of a horseshoe guy as there is.