Domonique Foxworth was so taken aback by being named the Broncos’ Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient Friday that he had no clue that he was now a nominee for the league-wide award, bestowed upon one player during Super Bowl week.
“Wow,” he said, laughing. “It hasn’t even crossed my mind. Technically I’m in the running for that?”
Indeed he is, I told him.
“That’s a good one,” he said. “We all know that’s not happening.”
Ah, humility. It’s one of my fellow blogger’s finer traits.
Sure, it means he’ll dismiss his chances of winning the league-wide Payton award.
But I would personally beg to differ and claim that no one could be more deserving this year, not with a flood tide of off-field activites that range from teaching a writing class to promoting collegeincolorado.org and even opening his life to fans via his blog.
But above all, there’s his work in raising money for the construction of the Darrent Williams Teen Center at the Broncos Boys and Girls Club. What he does there isn’t about an award from his team or the league, or seeing his name in newspapers and magazines and on televisions or Web sites. It’s about turning his grief into action, ensconcing himself in an endeavor that all involved believe can help a generation of local youth avoid the scourge of gangs — while at the same time continuing the work that Williams himself did at the Club before he passed away New Year’s morning.
“I feel like I hope it will give me the final bit of closure that I need,” Foxworth said. “I feel like we’ve accomplished something. It still hurts to think about (it), and when the whole thing happened with Sean Taylor, it just hurts.
“That’s how I’ve been mourning — (by) working there. I feel that it would just be the crown jewel on all of our hard work around there.”
Even before the galvanizing effect of Williams’ death on him and others in the Broncos’ locker room, Foxworth has long been hip-deep in community work, dating back to his matriculation at the University of Maryland when he started a mentoring program, inspired by one of the first courses he took after arriving on campus.
“One of my classes — which really got me kick-started my freshman year — we were in a soup kitchen and we helped renovate old retirement homes; we did a lot of things,” he said. “While so much good is being done, it’s kind of a selfish feeling. You feel so good while you’re doing it. Community service is just one of the few things in this world to me that makes you feel like you’re doing something.
“You feel like you’re living out the reason why you’re supposed to be on this earth.”
That’s the best award of all.
Mazel tov, Fox.