Eight fi­nal­ists named for Art Rooney Sports­man­ship Award

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports -

NEW YORK — Wash­ing­ton tight end Vernon Davis, al­ready nom­i­nated for the NFL’s Man of the Year Award, is one of eight fi­nal­ists for the league’s Art Rooney Sports­man­ship Award.

The other fi­nal­ists, an­nounced Fri­day, are Jack­sonville de­fen­sive end Calais Camp­bell, Charg­ers tight end An­thony Gates, In­di­anapo­lis quar­ter­back An­drew Luck, Bal­ti­more safety Eric Wed­dle, New Or­leans quar­ter­back Drew Brees, San Fran­cisco tackle Joe Sta­ley, and Green Bay cor­ner­back Tra­mon Wil­liams.

Sta­ley is a fi­nal­ist for the fourth con­sec­u­tive sea­son, while Davis (two ca­reer nom­i­na­tions) and Gates (three ca­reer nom­i­na­tions) are fi­nal­ists for the sec­ond straight year.

Camp­bell, who is a fi­nal­ist for the first time, has been nom­i­nated in three of the past four years, while Brees has been nom­i­nated in each of the past two years and is a first-time fi­nal­ist. Luck, Wed­dle and Wil­liams are all first-time nom­i­nees.

The Rooney Award rec­og­nizes play­ers around the league who ex­em­plify out­stand­ing sports­man­ship on the field.

It was cre­ated in 2014 in hon­our of the late found­ing owner of the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers and Pro Foot­ball Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr.

A panel of for­mer play­ers — Hall of Famer Cur­tis Martin, War­rick Dunn and Karl Meck­len­burg — se­lected the fi­nal­ists from 32 nom­i­nees, one from each club. The win­ner is de­ter­mined by a vote of cur­rent NFL play­ers, but they can’t vote for a team­mate.

The Art Rooney Sports­man­ship Award win­ner will be an­nounced dur­ing NFL Hon­ors, when the AP presents its in­di­vid­ual award win­ners. That prime­time pro­gram from At­lanta will be on Feb. 2, the night be­fore the Su­per Bowl.

Past win­ners:

2017 — Luke Kuechly, Carolina Pan­thers

2016 — Frank Gore, In­di­anapo­lis Colts

2015 — Charles Wood­son, Oak­land Raiders

2014 — Larry Fitzger­ald, Ari­zona Cardinals

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