For the past 33 years, the Ed Block Courage Foundation has been awarding courage to individuals. The foundation, in particular, selects one player from each NFL team to honor "for his commitment to the principles of courage and sportsmanship while serving as an inspiration in the locker rooms and community." Safety Matt Ware was the player who will be honored with the Ed Block Courage Award next week.
The reasons for his being selected were news to me.
Ware overcame a lot to be able to play football for the Cardinals in 2010. After the Cardinals' Super Bowl run, Ware had surgery on his right knee. While rehabbing the knee he experienced strange symptoms and was diagnosed in March 2009 with Type I Diabetes.
He got his blood sugar levels under control, rehabbed his knee, but then in December of the 2009 season, his season was cut short by another knee injury. The depth he provided in the secondary was missed against Green Bay and New Orleans in the playoffs that year.
He worked hard on his rehabilitation and recovered to play in 2010. The obstacles he overcame, in addition to other off the field activities he participates in are the reason for being honored with this award. Those include working with the Phoenix Rescue Mission, the Valley's Ronald McDonald Houses, CMJ ministries, among others.
Here is an excerpt from his profile:
Ware's return to football activity reflects the courage, dedication, and discipline of an Ed Block Courage award recipient. His teammates took note of his courage to overcome a potentially life threatening and career ending condition and make it back to the level of physical conditioning and dedication it takes to be an NFL player.
I never knew any of this about Matt Ware, but he certainly deserves this award.