The NFL this morning announced the nominees for one of the league’s most prestigious awards: the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. This year, offensive lineman Joe Reitz is the Colts’ nominee.
Each team nominates a player for the award that recognizes a player for “philanthropy and community impact” as a guy who has “excellence on and off the field.” The nominees will then be narrowed down to a list of finalists in January before the winner is announced at the annual NFL Honors show. Each nominee will get to choose a charity of his choice for a donation to be made to, while the winner of the award will have an even larger amount donated to the charity of his choice. The award is considered one of the most prestigious awards the league gives out annually, as it recognizes a player for community service and impact and for giving back off the field, so it’s definitely a huge honor.
Reitz has had a big impact in Indianapolis, getting involved in a number of Christian outreach efforts, All Pro Dad, supporting youth football, and hosting a Tackling Homelessness to help homeless relief efforts, among other things. You can read more about Reitz’s charitable efforts here. With the Colts, he has started 43 games and played in 67 for the team over the last seven years, and he’s proven to be a reliable lineman. He’s also been a tremendous teammate and locker room guy, as in 2015 he won the Ed Block Courage award and was the team’s nominee for the Bryan “Whizzer” White award.
This is a really cool honor for any player, and for Reitz it’s well-deserved. In recent years Dwayne Allen (2015) and Pat McAfee (2014) have been the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and Reitz continues that tradition of well-deserved nominees with the Colts who have been involved in giving back to the community.