Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Piccolo Awards Presented to Bears Today

The Chicago Bears handed out their annual Piccolo Awards on Tuesday morning at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois.  Both a  Bears' rookie and a veteran are now selected by teammates each year.  The recipients display the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor exemplified by Brian Piccolo.

The Bears right tackle Jordan Mills was awarded the Brian Piccolo Award for a Bears rookie.  Mills helped solidify the Bears offensive line that had been considered the most serious weakness prior to the 2013 season.  Mills is considered by teammates as one of the most dedicated and hard-working players who displays humility and a willingness to learn. The consummate dedicated athlete and team player, Mills thanked the Bears for the honor.

Former Bears-now-Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown received the Picollo award given to a veteran Bears' player.  McCown, who has served many teams in  the NFL, helped solidify the Bears offense when Jay Cutler was out.  Cutler accepted the award on McCown's behalf as McCown is working with his new teammates in Tampa. Cutler pointed out  that McCown took on his backup job with a determination and commitment that was exemplary.  McCown did many extra unselfish things to help the team and those around him play better. McCown came across as the kind of player who thinks team first in every circumstance.  He also led the Bears Bible study and worked with Patrick McCaskey in the Bears community development activities. 

Brian Piccolo played for four short seasons, but he left a legacy of courage with the Bears and the NFL.  Piccolo played fullback.  He blocked for his superstar teammate Gale Sayers and he filled in for Sayers as well when he was injured.  Piccolo was diagnosed with cancer, which ended his career in 1969 and his life in 1970 at age 26.  His life and relationship with Sayers and the Bears was presented in the popular 1971 movie “Brian’s Song,” which was remade in 2001.  
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Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships and other fine book including Maddie Takes the Ice;  The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy's Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life);  Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball's Fred Merkle; and Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout.  Seen here.