The 11th annual NFL Honors awards show aired on Thursday night from Los Angeles on ABC, and predictably no Detroit Lions players were selected for particular excellence in the 2021 season. The full list of winners is posted on the league’s official site, and it is pretty interesting to see how many awards there are and the creep of sponsorships into the mix. Alongside the traditionally-named awards like the Deacon Jones Sack Leader Award, there are such things as the Bud Light Celly of the Year (best celebration).
Aside from the fact that noted Detroit Lions fan Keegan-Michael Key hosted the evening’s program, the Detroit Lions were involved in two of the awards of the night. First, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal after an unenforced delay of game on the Baltimore offense was selected as the Bridgestone Best Moment of the Year. Not the greatest of memories for Lions fans.
Then on the positive side of the ledger, the Walter Payton Man of the Year award went to Los Angeles Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth, who told a story involving a certain Lions rookie at the ceremony. The NFL posted the entire six-minute acceptance speech (skip ahead to 3:50 for the relevant part):
Back in October, we mentioned reporting by Jourdan Rodrigue and Chris Burke at The Athletic giving the backdrop to the post-game interaction with Derrick Barnes that Whitworth spoke about. If you have a subscription to The Athletic and have not read it, take Jeremy’s advice and go take a look:
I know, right? Was lucky to write about that amazing moment this year. https://t.co/cpZRvmhNlr— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) February 11, 2022
Over on Instagram, Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes posted a photo from way back:
Perhaps next year will bring more success and some award selections for the Detroit Lions, but for now we’ll take the uplifting story from Whitworth. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- I’d forgotten about it, but the Ford’s Hall of Fans selections happened this week. The Lions fan nominated by Calvin Johnson (Michael Banks) was picked as one of the three inductees.
- One of the Lions tight ends seems pretty pumped up to have Ben Johnson as his offensive coordinator:
- You know you need more Erik Schlitt in your life, so go listen to him and Joe Kania talk about Ben Johnson (among other topics) on the latest episode of the Detroit Lions Breakdown podcast.
- Our sister site for the Los Angeles Rams, Turf Show Times, posted an article about perceptions of the Rams from the rest of the league. Fearless leader Jeremy Reisman stepped up for the Lions fanbase:
Really neat article here looking at the perception of the Rams across the league.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) February 11, 2022
I was asked to specifically talk about Stafford, so you know I jumped on the opportunity. https://t.co/AN9OOcoNSh
- ESPN’s Eric Woodyard wrote about how the Detroit Lions’ staff hopes to benefit from a “priceless” Senior Bowl experience coaching one of the squads.
- This is pretty cool:
- MLive’s Ben Raven and Kyle Meinke posted another episode of their podcast, Dungeon of Doom. You can listen to it on Spotify.
- Frank Ragnow, man of the people, successfully exhorting the Lions media team to use their super powers for awesome:
- Keegan Abdoo posted an interesting article on the official league site using Next Gen Stats to examine why Rams head coach Sean McVay had to make a change at quarterback from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford.