Former Baltimore Ravens player O.J. Brigance has been a beloved player, mentor, and friend to those who have worked in some capacity for the organization. As a player, he earned a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens before retiring in 2002. In 2013, Brigance earned his second Super Bowl ring, this time as a member of the Ravens front office.
But Brigance has been an inspiration to many during his battle with ALS ( also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), which he was diagnosed with in 2007 and yet continues to fight each day. His bravery to continue battling ALS, while also remaining a staple part of the Ravens organization, earned him the honor of receiving the 2014 George Halas award.
The Pro Football Writers Association of America emailed a press release a short while ago.
Baltimore Ravens senior advisor to player development O.J. Brigance, whose continuing battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) serves as an inspiration to many and who has helped raise research funds to fight the disease via his Brigance Brigade foundation, has been selected as the 2014 George Halas Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Brigance, the 45th Halas Award winner, is the first member of the Ravens franchise to receive the honor from the PFWA.
As a member of the PFWA, I was among the many members who voted Brigance to earn this honor. He is a man who continues to last as an inspiration for many people, and not just those who work in the National Football League.
While Brigance continues to overcome the challenges of ALS, he remains an influential and crucial member of one of the league's more successful organizations.