The Brian Piccolo Award is the prestigious honor given to a Chicago Bears rookie since 1970. The award was expanded in 1992 to also include a veteran football player. The Bears players vote amongst themselves for the rookie and veteran who best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo. Piccolo was a running back for the Chicago Bears from 1966 until his untimely death from embryonic cell carcinoma on June 16, 1970, at age 26.
Jordan Mills gave a nice speech, invoking the award’s namesake:
“This award exemplifies a person that throughout his life had to struggle,” Mills said. “Being at Wake Forest and the leader rusher and leading scorer his senior year and not getting drafted, most people would have given up after that. But he kept fighting.
“Even though his life and career ended early, cancer did not take his spirit, did not take his will, it did not take his heart, and that speaks volumes to me every day. Even though I may not be the strongest, the fastest or the most athletic, I like to show that I have the will, the heart and the spirit to conquer anything. For me to win this award, it’s a true blessing.”
Mills was well supported, as the entire offensive line showed up for the ceremony, which speaks volumes about why he was selected for the award – he’s well liked by his teammates. Mills started all 16 games in his rookie season. Even though he broke his foot in the pre-game of the season finale, he still tried to give it a go.
Since McCown is now a former Bear and preparing for the upcoming season down in Tampa Bay, there was a little role reversal, as Cutler spelled McCown and accepted the award on his behalf. Cutler had some really nice things to say about McCown. Be sure to check out the video of Cutler accepting the award on the Bears website. What’s up with Jay’s hair???
Hit page 2 for the full text of McCown’s response that Jay read…