The 37th Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, will be presented in Houston on December 6 at the Hilton Americas Hotel.
Any player who meets the basic award criteria (a down lineman on either side of the ball-including tight ends, and linebackers who line up within five yards of the ball) is eligible to receive votes. In each of the past two years (Erasmus James in 2004 and Elvis Dumervil in 2005) an eventual finalist for the award was not included on the Watch List at the start of the season.
This year's list is almost evenly divided between offensive and defensive players, with 54 defenders and 47 offensive players currently listed.
Founded in the weeks following the death of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi from cancer in 1970, the Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, has annually delivered upon the mission set forth by Marie Lombardi when she first granted the use of her late husband's name. Her only stipulation was that all net proceeds from the event be donated to the American Cancer Society and millions of dollars have been generated since that time. In addition to generating the annual donation to ACS, attendees to the 2005 combined to sponsor 31 pediatric cancer patients for a week at Camp Discovery, a camp near Kerrville, TX dedicated to bringing the joy and fun of summer camp to young cancer patients.