Steinberg parties honors NFL leadership

Leigh Steinberg held his 32nd Annual Super Bowl party on February 2, 2019, at Believe Music Hall after his Brain Health Summit.  While the Brain Health Summit was an intimate event with just a few hundred people, the larger party swelled over 2000 attendees and jammed every corner of the venue.

There was a huge red carpet and media backdrop for photographs which welcome the partygoers. Some interesting vendors had tables set up along the entrance path including Sportamix, a new sports social media platform, and a Foundation for a Drug Free World. Drug Free World representative, Melissa Eisenhauer, was gracious is walking through the details of the program with Sports Philanthropy Network Founder Roy Kessel.

As you walked into the main room in the venue, you were greeted with a huge open space, plenty of food, music and drinks.  There was also an impressive array of sports memorabilia as you walked through the crowds, though we felt that the toughest job of the night might have been the individuals who were tasked with monitoring the silent auction and making sure that the items were not stolen or damaged by careless partygoers.

The best part of the overall event was the award ceremony honoring excellence in the NFL.  The winners of the Steinberg-Denicola Humanitarian Awards were:

  • Owners:
    • Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins
    • Mark Davis, Oakland Raiders
  • Executives
    • Jon Robinson, GM Tennessee Titans
    • John Schneider, GM Seattle Seahawks
  • Coach
    • Matt Nagy
  • Players
    • Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
    • Alvin Jones, Baltimore Ravens
    • Nick Lowery, Retired Kicker, Kansas City Chiefs
    • Steve Bartkowski, Legend Award, Atlanta Falcons
    • Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Seeing the energy in the room and the truly enthusiastic acceptance speeches by the award winners was heartwarming.  Though all of these guys are intense competitors on the field, there are so many of them that choose to make an impact in their community.

Sports Philanthropy Network founder Roy Kessel was particularly impressed with Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy and with Kansas City Chiefs QB, Patrick Mahomes.

While Mahomes has received a lot of media attention throughout the year, his presence was impressive for such a young player.  Mahomes took the stage and immediately commanded the audience’s attention.  He was very articulate and extremely humble.  When you see the accolades heaped upon a young player, you typically hope that his positive attitude remains in effect throughout his career.  After seeing him in person, that concern seems to melt away.

Nagy also expressed a lot of sincerity and did not drop into the prototypical coach-speak mentality. Having seen the Bears’ performance all season while living in Chicago, Sports Philanthropy Network founder Roy Kessel was not surprised by the commanding and yet calm presence that Nagy demonstrated.

In addition to the nominees, there were many other current and former NFL players in attendance, posing for photos and signing autographs for the many fans. 

A terrific energy level existed throughout the party and you can only imagine how the players and others managed to keep up that pace for the entire weekend.  Later that night, Patrick Mahomes was deservedly awarded the NFL MVP Award, a fitting cap to a great season.

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
Sports Philanthropy Network

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