Indianapolis Colts guard/tackle Joe Reitz has been selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2015 Ed Block Courage Award.
The award is an annual recognition for courageous play by an individual and Reitz is one of 32 National Football League players who earned the accolade. The players of each member club nominate an individual annually and those chosen are honored at a banquet in Baltimore each March.
“It’s an honor to receive the Ed Block Courage Award,” said Reitz. “To know that my teammates nominated me is very humbling for myself and my family. I’m extremely grateful I get to play in the NFL for a living. I’m just as grateful having the opportunity to give back to the community that I grew up in. I love Indianapolis and look forward to having the chance to continue to serve the great people here in Indiana.”
Reitz is in his fifth season with the Colts and has played in 53 games (31 starts). He has seen action in all nine games for Indianapolis in 2015 and has started the last seven at right tackle.
“Joe is one of the most respected men in our locker room,” said Head Coach Chuck Pagano. “He is a leader on and off the field due to his high character and selflessness. He is a humanitarian who loves to use his platform as an NFL player to help others. We are proud of Joe and how he serves his family, coaches, teammates, community and the horseshoe.”
The Fishers, Ind. native is very passionate about supporting his fellow Hoosiers and is heavily involved in charitable endeavors in the greater Indianapolis region. He has hosted youth football camps at Hamilton Southeastern High School, St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carmel, Ind. Reitz worked with the Knights of Columbus to host a Special Olympics mini combine at the Colts practice facility in February of 2015. He has visited Riley Hospital for Children to meet with patients during the holiday season. For the last three years, Reitz and his wife have hosted a Tackling Homelessness Event for Horizon House. He is active in Christian outreach efforts and Indianapolis CYO programs. Reitz has served as a guest speaker for All Pro Dad’s Chapter Breakfast at Hazel Dell Elementary School and at Coburn Place’s Blue Breakfast.
The award is named after Ed Block who was the head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts from 1954-1977. He served as trainer emeritus with the club until he passed away in 1983.
Past winners of the award dating back to 2000, include: TE-Dwayne Allen (2014), DE-Cory Redding (2013), S-Antoine Bethea (2012), DE-Robert Mathis (2011), DE-Dwight Freeney (2010), DB-Marlin Jackson (2009), C-Jeff Saturday (2008), OG-Ryan Lilja (2007), WR-Reggie Wayne (2006), LB-Cato June (2005), LB-Gary Brackett (2004), DE-Chad Bratzke (2003), LB-Rob Morris (2002), QB-Peyton Manning (2001) and DT-Bernard Whittington (2000).
The 38th annual Ed Block Courage Award dinner is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, 2016 in Baltimore. Proceeds from the affair benefit the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation in Baltimore. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation’s objective is to establish homes for abused children in each NFL city. Indianapolis established an Ed Block Courage home (Children’s Bureau) in October of 2000. The home is part of a national support network for abused children.
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