The Chicago Bears announced Tuesday Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney as the winners of the Brian Piccolo Award, annually awarded to one rookie and one veteran.
Every year, the Piccolo Award is given to a rookie & a vet who represent the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication & sense of humor Brian Piccolo was known for.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 27, 2021
Congrats to our 2020 recipients @AllenRobinson & @Darnell_M1! ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/kmIlszIyvJ
As the team’s official tweet says, the award goes to the players that best demonstrate the “courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor” that Brian Piccolo was known for.
Robinson will be playing 2021 under the franchise tag (unless an extension is reached before the July deadline) and he had 102 catches for 1,250 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2020.
Mooney, a revelation of a fifth-round pick in 2020, had 61 catches for 631 yards and 4 touchdowns. His 61 receptions set a franchise rookie record.
Now if you’re completely lost on the history and significance of Piccolo, gather ‘round as I share a story.
Piccolo was a running back for the Bears, undrafted in 1965 out of Wake Forest and played with the Bears until his untimely death from cancer in 1970, when the award was created and awarded for the first time.
Piccolo is perhaps best remembered for his friendship with the late, great Gale Sayers, as the pair were the first Bears teammates to be integrated as roommates on road trips and their friendship was immortalized in “Brian’s Song” the 1971 made-for-TV movie with James Caan playing Piccolo.