Fields Selected As Dolphins Nominee For Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year Award

Posted Dec 28, 2012

Fields nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Since joining the Miami Dolphins in 2007, punter Brandon Fields has made an impact both on and off the field. A native of Toledo, Ohio, the sixth year pro has become a prominent figure in the South Florida community. For his dedication to excellence on and off the field, Fields has been selected as the 2012 Miami Dolphins Man of the Year and a nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Fields can be found every week during the season on his Tuesday off giving back to the local community. Often on his off day, he participates in numerous events, including speaking at a school, taking kids whose parents are in the military on a pirate ship or playing games with children with disabilities at Dave and Busters. In 2012, Fields participated in more events than any other player on the team and his commitment can even be shown during the offseason when he worked with the team’s Punt Pass and Kick finalist and gave her tips in punting at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility.

In addition to participating in team events, Fields created the Brandon and Katie Fields Youth Fitness Fund in 2010. With a focus on health, fitness and a positive attitude, the mission of the Brandon and Katie Fields Youth Fitness Fund is to promote physical activity and good health to children in the community. Some of their programs include an annual football and cheer camp in Toledo and a fitness camp. The purpose of the fitness camp is to encourage kids to do 60 minutes of activity a day, and teach them how to be active in various ways, outside of sports. The camp stations include a homemade obstacle, relay race with games, circuit training, yoga, and dancing. Recently, the Fields partnered with Broward Health to start the 'Fields Fitness Fest' in South Florida.

Fields has been one of the top punters in team and league history since joining the Dolphins in 2007. He ranks second in NFL history with a 46.3 punting average. He also ranks first in Dolphins history in both highest punting average and net punting average. Through the first fifteen games of 2012, Fields has 68 punts for 3,419 yards, good for an average of 50.3 yards per punt and a net of 41.2 yards per punt. Currently, Fields ranks first in the AFC and second in the NFL in punting average.

The Walter Payton Man of the Year award is given annually by the National Football League honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Prior to 1999, it was called simply the NFL Man of the Year Award. Shortly after Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton died (having been the 1977 recipient himself), the award was renamed to honor his legacy as both a great player and a humanitarian.

Each year, a winner is selected from 32 nominees from the 32 different teams. A panel of judges, which includes the commissioner of the NFL, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), the previous year's winner and a number of former players, selects the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $25,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other 31 finalists also receive donations in their name of $1,000 each to charities of their choice.

The Dolphins have had three players win the NFL Man of the Year award, Dwight Stephenson (1985), Dan Marino (1998) and Jason Taylor (2007).
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