Saluting NFL’s ‘Good Guys’

Hey NFL fans! How much tougher are Tuesday-Saturdays without some NFL in your lives?

With no games to distract me until Sunday, I started thinking about my heroes on the football field and how many of those guys are also heroes off the field – doing amazing work to help out in the communities where they live and work. It also led to the realization that if those guys on the gridiron have time to help their communities between their grueling schedules, then we fans should definitely find time to volunteer, too! You not only get to enjoy the altruistic benefits, but volunteering can be a career booster as well.

So, in their honor, I’ve created my Director of Fandemonium “Gridiron Good Guy Awards.” Would love to hear who you think should be on this list. Drop me a line by becoming a fan of the Department of Fandemonium on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fandemonium and by following me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MonsterDOF and let me know who your favorite NFL good guy is. Extra points (no, not what Chad OchoCinco kicks) for pictures of your favorite NFL stars doing what they do best—acting as role models.

Without further ado – and in no particular order – the DOF “GGG Awards” go to:

1. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Three Pro Bowls, comeback player of the year, offensive player of the year, and Walter Payton Man of the Year. Is there anything that Drew Brees CAN’T do!? You might as well add “Superman” to this list. Brees supports Operation Kids and started his own charity, The BreesDream Foundation. The guy was pivotal in helping to rebuild New Orleans. Oh, and how about six touchdown passes in Week 1!

2. Amobi Okoye, DT, Houston Texans
Okoye has only been in the league two years but is already making a huge impact in the country where he was born, Nigeria. This past May, he organized a group of players to travel across the Atlantic to distribute scholarships and organize clinics on everything from female empowerment to AIDS education. Pretty cool and a lot of awesome initiatives … not bad for only being 21 years old!

3. Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona Cardinals
His professional resume says two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP and Super Bowl champion, but what it doesn’t say is that he and his wife Brenda created the First Things First Foundation, which supports children’s hospitals and assists single parents. The foundation pays for dozens of children to travel to Disney World every year. That’s just so cool to give those kids the opportunity to have the time of their lives without having to worry about their illnesses even if for a brief time.

4. Tony Dungy, former NFL player and coach
Last, but not least, I’d say Dungy is the definition of a “mentor.” In fact, so much so that the last two U.S. presidents recognized his dedication to charity and asked him to serve on the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. And you thought he was “retired!”

While there are many, many “Good Guys” involved with the NFL, I think these four stand out as exceptional players/coaches and people. It’s important to remember the impact that these incredible athletes have on our lives every day, not just on Sundays. Now go check me out on Facebook and Twitter and let me hear your thoughts.

Oh, and look for my next blog entry about NFL free agency and how it works (I’m learning a lot as the DOF!). Remember: to get the most access this season, sign up at nfl.monster.com and let me know how you show your Fandemonium. Most importantly, don’t forget that soon you, too, can apply to become the next Director of Fandemonium — stay tuned for applications to go live on Oct. 1!

Aloha,
Onyx Herrera
Director of Fandemonium

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