The Brian Piccolo Award is an honor that is given to players of the Chicago Bears. The award is given to one rookie and one veteran per season who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo. Piccolo was a running back for the Bears from 1966 until his untimely death from embryonal cell carcinoma on June 16, 1970, at age 26.
Brian Piccolo went un-drafted in the 1965 NFL Draft despite being named the ACC Player of the Year at Wake Forest (1964), where he led the nation with points (111) and yards rushing (1,044) as a senior. In 1965, Piccolo tried out for the Chicago Bears as a free agent and made the team. He progressed from the practice squad to the back-up of starting tailback Gale Sayers by 1967. For the 1969 season, Piccolo was named the starting fullback for the Chicago Bears.
On November 16, during the ninth game of the 1969 season in Atlanta, Piccolo voluntarily removed himself from the game due to extreme difficulty breathing on the field. When the team returned to Chicago, he received a medical examination and chest x-ray that revealed a malignancy. He was then diagnosed with embryonal cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of testicular cancer that had already spread to his chest cavity. After the diagnosis, Piccolo underwent surgery at Sloan-Kettering in New York City to remove the tumor. He had another surgery to remove his left lung and pectoral muscle in April 1970. Later in June of the same year, Piccolo started to feel chest pain and was re-admitted to the hospital, where doctors determined that the cancer had spread to other organs, most notably his liver. Piccolo died on Tuesday, June 16, 1970, at the age of 26. His courageous battle was later portrayed in the classic 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, starring James Caan as Piccolo.
When Piccolo died in 1970, embryonal cell carcinoma was 100% fatal. With advances in medicine over the years, more than 50% of patients with the disease are now cured.
The Brian Piccolo Award was originally awarded the same year as Piccolo's death (1970) to a Chicago Bears rookie who "best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo".
In 1990, the Chicago Bears commissioned Chicago native and artist, Tom McKee, to design and sculpt the Brian Piccolo Award that is currently awarded. Each year this bronze sculpture is given to a Bears rookie and a veteran player (since 1992).
The Brian Piccolo Award ceremony is held at Halas Hall each year, where Bears center Olin Kreutz and wide receiver Johnny Knox received the 2009 trophy. Previous award winners include Brian Urlacher (2000, 2007), Charles Tillman (2003, 2008, 2013), Tommie Harris (2004), Devin Hester (2006), Greg Olsen (2007), Matt Forte (2008, 2015). Nick Roach and Stephen Paea were the recipients of the Award in 2012, while Tillman, Shea McClellin and Julius Peppers received the Award in 2013. The following year, Jordan Mills and Josh McCown were awarded, but Jay Cutler accepted McCown's award, due to McCown joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2013 season.
The 2009 Tulane Green Wave football team represented Tulane University in the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It was the Green Wave's third year under head coach Bob Toledo. The Green Wave finished the season 3–9 and 1–7 in CUSA play.2011 Atlantic Coast Conference football season
The 2011 ACC football season is an NCAA football season that will be played from September 1, 2011, to January 4, 2012. The Atlantic Coast Conference consists of 12 members in two divisions. The Atlantic division consists of Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. The Coastal division consists of Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. The division champions will meet on December 3 in the 2011 ACC Championship Game, located in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.2013 Music City Bowl
The 2013 Music City Bowl was an American college football bowl game that was played on December 30, 2013, at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The 16th edition of the Music City Bowl began at 2:15 p.m. CST and was broadcast on ESPN. It featured the Ole Miss Rebels from the Southeastern Conference against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from the Atlantic Coast Conference. It was one of the 2013–14 bowl games that concluded the 2013 FBS football season. The game was sponsored by the Franklin American Mortgage Company and was officially known as the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. Ole Miss defeated Georgia Tech by a score of 25–17.2014 Atlantic Coast Conference football season
The 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference football season was the 62nd season of college football play for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). It was played from August 2014 to January 2015. 2014 was first season of play in the ACC for former American Athletic Conference member Louisville, which replaced ACC charter member Maryland after their move to the Big Ten Conference. Although the Notre Dame football program is not a member of the ACC, it has an agreement to play five ACC schools per season in football starting in 2014. This is in return for access to the non-College Football Playoff ACC bowl line-up. The Irish are not eligible for the ACC Championship Game.The Atlantic Coast Conference consisted of 14 members in two divisions. The Atlantic Division consisted of Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina State, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. The Coastal Division consisted of Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. The division champions, Florida State and Georgia Tech, met in December in the 2014 ACC Championship Game, played in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.Adrian Amos
Adrian Gerald Amos, Jr. (born April 29, 1993) is an American football strong safety for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State.Atlantic Coast Conference football individual awards
The Atlantic Coast Conference honors players and coaches upon the conclusion of each college football season with the following individual honors as voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.Brian Piccolo
Louis Brian Piccolo (October 31, 1943 – June 16, 1970) was a professional American football player, a running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) for four years. He died at age 26 from embryonal cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of germ cell testicular cancer, first diagnosed after it had spread to his chest cavity.
Piccolo was the subject of the 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, with a remake (of the same title) TV movie filmed in 2001. He was portrayed in the original film by James Caan and by Sean Maher in the 2001 remake.J. D. Maarleveld
John David "J. D." Maarleveld (born October 24, 1961 in Jersey City, New Jersey) is a former American football player. He played offensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which selected him in the fifth round of the 1986 NFL Draft (112th overall). He played college football at the University of Maryland after transferring from the University of Notre Dame, following his survival after a bout with cancer.James O. Williams
James Otis "BigCat" Williams (born March 29, 1968) is a former American football player. He played for the Chicago Bears throughout his 12-year NFL career. Williams was 6'7" and 330-pounds. He has two children, Jai and Jia.
Williams was signed as a free agent by Bill Tobin after the 1991 draft. He played defensive tackle on a 0-11 team at Cheyney State. Williams worked his way into the defensive line rotation his rookie season, substituting for Steve McMichael and William Perry when needed. As a rookie, he blocked a field goal at Buffalo, picked up his first sack at Green Bay, and helped with the "push" on William Perry's game-saving field goal block against the New York Giants.
Williams played sparingly on defense in 1992 and was inactive for five straight games. The second-year tackle did not make the starting lineup following the drafting of 1991 second-rounder Chris Zorich. He was moved to offensive tackle midway through November, then to right tackle. Soon after, Williams relieved Keith Van Horne against Tampa in September, then was inactive for the final 12 games of the 1993 season.
From 1994 through his final game with the Bears in 2002, Williams started 134 games at right tackle. He missed limited action throughout those seasons and played every snap in 1995. In addition to his starting duties, Williams blocked or deflected eight field goal attempts through 2001. He was chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate after the 1998 season and voted to his first all-star game following the 2001 season, during which the Bears finished 13-3.
Williams was a team ambassador throughout his career, and was the veteran recipient of the Bears' Brian Piccolo award following the 2001 season. He appeared in an E-TV Wild on Chicago episode prior to the 2001 season.
Williams was released by Chicago on February 26, 2003.Jerry Azumah
Jerry Azumah ( ə-ZOO-mə; born September 1, 1977) is a former American football cornerback who played seven seasons for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of New Hampshire, and was selected by the Bears in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He is currently a businessman and philanthropist.Jim Osborne (American football)
James Henry Osborne (born September 7, 1949) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League. He attended Southern University, and spent his entire 13-year career with the Chicago Bears. Osborne retired in 1984, one year shy of the Bears Super Bowl win. At the time of his retirement he lived in Olympia Fields. He won the Brian Piccolo Award from the Bears organization in 1972.Jordan Mills
Jordan Michael Mills (born December 24, 1990) is an American football offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisiana Tech.Mickey Pruitt
Mickey Pruitt (born January 10, 1965 in Bamberg, South Carolina) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII over the Buffalo Bills.Nick Roach
Nicholas Alexander Roach (born June 16, 1985) is a former American football linebacker of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He played college football at Northwestern.
Roach also played for the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders.Ron Morris (American football)
Ronald Wayne "Ron" Morris (born November 4, 1964) is a former professional American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He played six seasons for the Chicago Bears (1987–1992). In 1987, Ron Morris received the Brian Piccolo Award which is awarded to the rookie that best exemplifies the teamwork, loyalty, dedication, sense of humor, and courage of the late Brian Piccolo. In 1995, Morris was awarded $5.2 million for a lawsuit stemming from a knee injury that ended his career.Sam Cowart
Samuel Cowart, III (born February 26, 1975) is a former American college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons. He played college football for Florida State University and was recognized as an All-American. A second-round pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, he played professionally for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. Cowart was a Pro Bowl selection in 2000.Tommy Polley
Tommy William Polley (born January 18, 1978) is a former American football player who spent six seasons in the NFL. He originally played for the St. Louis Rams from 2001 to 2004 before signing with the Ravens as a free agent in 2005. He played only one season with the Ravens before signing with the Saints on June 2, 2006. Polley grew up in Baltimore and played football for Dunbar High School. He was a Top 50 Basketball prospect according to Hoop Scoop.Tony Parrish
Anthony W. Parrish (born November 23, 1975) is a former American football safety that played nine seasons in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft with the 35th overall pick. He played college football at the University of Washington. He was an Associated Press All-Pro in 2003, and is listed on the 49ers' All-2000s team. Parrish was also a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Las Vegas Locomotives.Troy Auzenne
Troy Anthony Auzenne (born June 26, 1969) is a former professional American football offensive tackle in the National Football League. He played five seasons for the Chicago Bears (1992–1995) and the Indianapolis Colts (1996). He played college football at California.
|Division championships (21)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (9)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold