Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane, lauded for his professional dealings with local and national media, has been selected as the 2021 Jack Horrigan Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Beane, the 49th Horrigan Award winner, is the second member of the Bills franchise to receive the honor. This is his second PFWA honor as he was voted the NFL Executive of the Year after the 2020 season.
The Jack Horrigan Award is given to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job. The award is named for Horrigan, who was a sportswriter for UPI and the Buffalo Evening News, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73).
Beane has made himself available to beat reporters – especially on newsworthy matters when it mattered most – and has been thoughtful and straightforward in his interactions with the media overall.
Other 2021 nominees for the Horrigan Award were Dallas Cowboys owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones, NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.
“Since becoming the Bills’ general manager in 2017, Beane has routinely made himself available to reporters in both good and difficult times,” said Matthew Fairburn, Bills beat writer for The Athletic and the Buffalo PFWA chapter president. “He is genuinely interested in explaining the team’s roster-building process and organizational philosophies. He doesn’t shy away from questions or story ideas that will shed light on why the team does what it does. When something significant happens with the team, Beane understands the importance of taking questions and is proactive about doing so. Even in the Zoom era, Beane has made sure to let news conferences continue until he’s answered every question. He doesn’t take tough questions personally and makes an effort to have a cordial and professional relationship with everyone who covers the team regularly. His candor and professionalism extend beyond those in Buffalo, too. Beane has made the Bills a more transparent organization, and the stories of the Bills’ turnaround have been richer and more insightful because of his give and take with reporters.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: In its 58th season in 2021, the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams daily. Lindsay Jones of The Athletic is the PFWA president for the 2021-22 seasons and the organization’s 30th president. Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated is the PFWA’s first vice-president, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News is the second vice-president and Mike Sando of The Athletic is the secretary-treasurer. At-large board members include USA Today’s Mike Jones, ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold, The Athletic’s Dan Pompei and ProFootballTalk.com’s Charean Williams. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
JACK HORRIGAN AWARD WINNERS (To the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job) Year indicates when award was presented for previous season: 1973 – John Breen (Houston Oilers); 1974 – O.J. Simpson (Buffalo Bills); 1975 – Art Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1976 – Floyd Little (Denver Broncos); 1977 – Jerry Wynn (San Diego Chargers); 1978 – Bob Peck (Denver Broncos); 1979 – John Madden (Oakland Raiders); 1980 – Bum Phillips (Houston Oilers); 1981 – Bob Sprenger (Kansas City Chiefs); 1982 – Joe Gordon (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1983 – Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints/Houston Oilers); 1984 – Art Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1985 – Joe Browne (NFL); 1986 – Dick Steinberg (New England Patriots); 1987 – Charlie Dayton (Atlanta Falcons); 1988 – Art Modell (Cleveland Browns); 1989 – Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys); 1990 – George Young (New York Giants); 1991 – Jim Finks (New Orleans Saints); 1992 – John Robinson (Los Angeles Rams); 1993 – Warren Moon (Houston Oilers); 1994 – Don Shula (Miami Dolphins); 1995 – Leslie Hammond (NFL); 1996 – Ron Wolf (Green Bay Packers); 1997 – Don Smith (Pro Football Hall of Fame); 1998 – Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers); 1999 – Greg Aiello (NFL); 2000 – Ernie Accorsi (New York Giants); 2001 – Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans); 2002 – Charley Casserly (Houston Texans); 2003 – Herman Edwards (New York Jets); 2004 – Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens); 2005 – Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons); 2006 – Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans); 2007 – Steve Alic (NFL); 2008 – Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks); 2009 – Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 2010 – Gil Brandt (NFL.com); 2011 – Rex Ryan (New York Jets); 2012 – Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons); 2013 – Mike Signora (NFL); 2014 – Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks); 2015 – Bruce Arians (Arizona Cardinals); 2016 – John Elway (Denver Broncos); 2017 – Mike Mayock (NFL Network); 2018 – Randall Liu (NFL); 2019 – Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame); 2020 – Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts); 2021 – Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills)