In its 56th season in 2019, 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.
Bob Glauber, the national football columnist for Newsday, is the PFWA president for the 2018-20 seasons and the organization’s 29th president. The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones is the PFWA’s first vice-president, The Athletic’s Dan Pompei is the PFWA’s second vice-president and The Athletic’s Mike Sando is the PFWA secretary-treasurer. At-large members include ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold, ProFootballtalk.com’s Charean Williams, Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas and USA Today’s Mike Jones.
The PFWA has established local chapters in each NFL market to assist members, monitor each club’s adherence to the NFL Media Access Policy and increase PFWA membership by qualified media personnel. Each chapter’s executives work with their local club’s public relations staff and communicates with PFWA officers on issues relating to coverage, all in a effort to fulfill the PFWA’s mission statement to promote and fight for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public.
The PFWA works with the NFL each year to assign pool reporters in every market, who may visit the officials locker room following games to make inquiries about rule interpretations for distribution to all media.
Each year in January, members select the PFWA’s On-Field Awards: All-NFL, All-AFC/NFC and All-Rookie teams along with individual awards for Most Valuable Player, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year. The PFWA On-Field Awards are announced the week of the AFC and NFC Championship Games.
In the spring, members nominate and vote for the Off-Field Awards: Good Guy Award (NFL player for his qualities and style in helping pro football writers do their jobs), George Halas Award (NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed), Jack Horrigan Award (league or club official for his or her qualities and style in helping the pro football writers do their job), Dick McCann Award (reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage), Pete Rozelle Award (NFL club PR staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media) and the Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award (lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL) The Off-Field Awards are announced prior to clubs finishing their spring OTAs.
The PFWA also conducts the Dick Connor Writing Awards, which honors the best writing by members in Beat Reporting, Columns, Features, Enterprise News/Features, Breaking News and Game Story categories. The Connor Awards, which span the period after the Super Bowl and continues through the following year’s Super Bowl, are announced during the preseason each year.
The Art Rooney Scholarship is awarded each year to a child of a PFWA member who is entering his or her freshman year of college. Applications for the Rooney Scholarship are available in early summer each year from the PFWA for children who graduated high school in the spring.
The PFWA (established as the Pro Football Writers Association of America or PFWAA) was founded in 1964 by George Strickler of the Chicago Tribune. The organization selected its’ first All-NFL team in 1966, an All-AFL/NFL team in 1968-69 and again an All-NFL team each season since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The PFWA has selected All-AFC/NFC teams since 1992 and an All-Rookie Team since 1974. The PFWA first gave a NFL MVP award in 1966, and after a hiatus from 1967-74, the group has selected an MVP each year since 1975. The oldest of the Off-Field Awards selected by the membership are the Dick McCann Award (which is presented to the honoree during each year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio) and the George Halas Award, which each date back to 1969.
Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.