What Is The Bert Bell Award?

Ken Stabler 1976 Robert W. Maxwell Football Club "Bert Bell Award" NFL
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The Bert Bell Award is an accolade given annually to the most outstanding player in the National Football League (NFL). Named after former NFL commissioner Bert Bell, this award recognizes the player who has made the most significant impact on their team and the league as a whole. It is considered one of the highest honors bestowed upon a professional football player.


The Bert Bell Award was first introduced in 1963, shortly after Bert Bell’s passing. Bell was a prominent figure in the NFL, serving as the league’s commissioner from 1946 until his death in 1959. He played a crucial role in shaping the NFL into the powerhouse it is today.

As a tribute to Bell’s contributions, the NFL established the Bert Bell Award to honor players who exemplify the qualities he cherished in the game – leadership, sportsmanship, and outstanding performance on the field.

Selection Process

The recipient of the Bert Bell Award is determined through a voting process involving members of the media, players, and coaches. Each team nominates a player who they believe best embodies the spirit of the award. A panel of esteemed individuals then casts their votes to select the winner.

The voting takes place towards the end of the regular season, allowing for a comprehensive evaluation of the players’ performances. The winner is announced during the NFL Honors ceremony, which takes place the night before the Super Bowl.


The Bert Bell Award recognizes players who have made outstanding contributions to their team and have had a significant impact on the league. While statistics play a role in the evaluation process, the award also considers intangible factors such as leadership, sportsmanship, and influence on and off the field.

Players who consistently demonstrate exceptional skill, determination, and a commitment to the game are often strong contenders for the Bert Bell Award. Their ability to inspire their teammates and elevate the level of play within their team is also taken into account.

Past Winners

Over the years, numerous NFL players have been honored with the Bert Bell Award. Some of the most notable recipients include Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Adrian Peterson. These players have left an indelible mark on the league, showcasing their exceptional talent and leadership throughout their careers.

Impact and Significance

The Bert Bell Award holds immense prestige within the NFL community. Winning this award not only recognizes a player’s exceptional performance but also solidifies their place among the league’s elite. It serves as a testament to their dedication, skill, and impact on the game.

Beyond individual recognition, the Bert Bell Award also highlights the values and ideals that Bert Bell himself championed. It emphasizes the importance of sportsmanship, leadership, and excellence both on and off the field, inspiring future generations of football players to strive for greatness.


The Bert Bell Award is a prestigious honor bestowed upon the most outstanding player in the NFL. It celebrates the qualities that make a player exceptional, including leadership, sportsmanship, and on-field performance. The award’s rich history and esteemed list of past winners further enhance its significance within the football community. Winning the Bert Bell Award is a testament to a player’s impact on their team and the league as a whole, solidifying their place among the NFL’s elite.