The field has now been narrowed to just three with the announcement of the finalists for the 20th annual Bart Starr Award, which honors NFL players who show exemplary character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community:
- Muhsin Muhammad, wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, founded the M2 Foundation For Kids in 1999. The M2 Foundation For Kids is dedicated to enhancing the educational, physical and spiritual development of children. Through creative and positive interaction, the foundation's goal is to motivate and help young people improve educational achievement and develop personal competencies for becoming healthy productive adults.
- LaDainian Tomlinson, running back for the San Diego Chargers, formed the Touching Lives Foundation, Inc. The foundation works to promote educational, social and cultural awareness and positive self-esteem to help enhance the lives of children and families who are less fortunate. The foundation hosts programs including “L.T.'s 21 Club,” youth football camps, Thanksgiving meals for needy San Diego families, Christmas gifts for ill children, and the “School is Cool Scholarship."
- Kurt Warner, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, established the First Things First Foundation in the spring of 2001 with his wife Brenda to promote Christian values and help bless the lives of the less fortunate with projects including trips to Disney World for ill children, building recreation centers in children's hospitals, helping single moms achieve home ownership, and teaching Special Olympians the basics of football.
The winner of the Bart Starr Award will be announced during the annual NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast, hosted by Athletes in Action, on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8:00 a.m. MST at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. The breakfast program will feature NFL athletes and coaches, including 2007 Super Bowl champion head coach Tony Dungy, NFL Hall of Famers Bart Starr and Anthony Munoz and former San Francisco 49er's star Brent Jones.
The winner of the Bart Starr Award is determined by NFL player balloting at the end of the regular season, making the award one of the few individual honors selected by the players themselves.
The Bart Starr award reflects the NFL great's lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates and community. Past winners of the award include Anthony Munoz, Reggie White, Mike Singletary, Cris Carter, Darrell Green, Aeneas Williams and Curtis Martin.
The Super Bowl Breakfast, co-chaired by Phoenix Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo and Mike Ingram, president of El Dorado Holdings, Inc., draws thousands of fans and has become one of the highlights of Super Bowl week. For more information, visit www.SuperBowlBreakfast.com.