There’s no better time to reminisce with the classic tear jerker Brian’s Song then when the Chicago Bears announce their annual Piccolo Award winners - players who best “exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor” of the late former Bear, Brian Piccolo.
This year, this exclusive honor that’s been around since 1970 and is as always voted on by their Bears teammates, goes to wide receiver and special team gunner, Joshua Bellamy, and rookie Pro Bowl running back, Jordan Howard. Bellamy is the veteran recipient of the award while the youthful Howard stands in as the rookie winner.
Previous recent recipients of the award include tight end Zach Miller and safety Adrian Amos in 2015, and former Bears running back Matt Forte as well as cornerback Kyle Fuller in 2014.
With Piccolo’s legendary support of Bears Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers through multiple knee injuries and his own subsequent battle and death from cancer, the modern Brian Piccolo Research Fund - which now cures the cancer he died of at a 95 percent rate - now stands as a modern example of human ingenuity and fight. And of course, crucial Bears history.
The examples set by new Bears each year is a testament to what this award stands for and where guys like Bellamy and Howard now stand among hallowed company.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for the Rock River Times and is a staff writer for Windy City Gridiron. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.