Today the Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award announced a formal partnership with Bernie’s Book Bank, the leading provider of quality books to at-risk Chicagoland children.

This Long Snapper award is named after Patrick Mannelly, widely known as the best long snapper in the NFL. He was a four-year starter at long snapper and two-year starter at offensive line at Duke University before he was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Mannelly is the longest tenured Chicago Bear after playing 16 seasons and a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.

“I am extremely honored to have my name on this award, but this is about the young men who have dedicated themselves to be great long snappers and they should be recognized,” Mannelly shared. “With the partnership of Bernie’s Book Bank, we look forward to honoring the top long snapper in D-1 college football. Bernie’s Book Bank is a perfect complement to the Mannelly Award.”

The Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award, founded by Kevin Gold, Patrick Mannelly and Chris Rubio, aims to provide rare recognition for the impactful role long snappers play in today’s game. Long snappers are the ultimate unsung heroes of football. No successful field goal, extra point or punt can happen without a successful snap. Bernie’s Book Bank plays a similar role – no child can learn to read without books. The 501(c)(3) organization provides 360,000 local at-risk children with 12 quality books per year to empower them to read their way to a better life. Like the long snapper, the work of Bernie’s Book Bank is behind the scenes, but an integral player in the literacy equation.

Bernie’s Book Bank will host the inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award Ceremony on December 14, 2019 at the non-profit’s 35,000 sf facility in Lake Bluff, IL. The event welcomes 245 guests, a number selected to honor the number of games Mannelly played for the Bears. Tickets go on sale October 1, 2019.

“Bernie’s Book Bank is proud to partner with the Patrick Mannelly Award to honor athletes who embody the values of our mission: excellence, integrity, effectiveness, teamwork and balance. Bernie’s Book Bank is the long snapper of literacy and together we celebrate this vital role that often goes unnoticed in football,” shared Darrin Utynek, CEO of Bernie’s Book Bank.

The award will be presented to the overall best Long Snapper at the Division I FBS level. The winner must be of senior standing, have started 75% of games in his senior year, snap on punts and placements, and demonstrate a strong mentality, notable athleticism, as well as speed, accuracy and consistency in their snaps.

“As a Long Snapping instructor that has assisted over 1,000 Long Snappers in going to the college and/or NFL level, I emphatically believe this award is long overdue,” Chris Rubio affirmed. “Since the start of this award with Kevin Gold and the legend Patrick Mannelly, we knew we needed one final piece to really take this award over the top and truly highlight the great position of a Long Snapper. Bernie’s Book Bank is an absolute perfect fit to make this all come together and keep it going for countless years into the future.”

The Patrick Mannelly Award watchlist will be released Thursday, August 1 followed by the semi-finalists on November 16 and the finalists on November 23.

“As an NFL agent that specializes in representing long snappers, I have seen first-hand the incredible and unique talents these unsung heroes possess. This award, and the support of Bernie’s Book Bank, will make sure the contributions long snappers make to the game of football are properly recognized,” expressed Kevin Gold.

For more information about the Patrick Mannelly Award, visit www.patrickmannellyaward.com

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