Each year one player per NFL team is nominated by their teammates as a role model of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage. The award was named after Ed Block a beloved trainer for the Baltimore Colts. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation promotes the awareness of child abuse and assists agencies that provide care and assistance to these abused children. Last year was my first time covering and attending the event. The photo below is recipient Curtis Brinkley who was nominated by his teammates of the San Diego Chargers and my friend Chafie Fields. Chafie attended the banquet with his client Early Doucet who was nominated by the Arizona Cardinals. The helmets the players receive is really cool….

Curtis Brinkley and Chafie Fields 

There are many components to the three day event. Even though the players are nominated for their courage on and off the field, they have the opportunity to interact with some people that display unbelievable courage. That would be on their trip to St. Vincents/Villa a care center for children who have been abused and neglected. I’m sure this is a humbling experience for many.  Another great piece to the player’s trip to Baltimore, is a visit with the kids and community members at the Chick Webb Recreation Center.  Last year the kids were soooo excited to meet the players.  A few of this years recipients are Adrian Peterson of the Vikings ,  Willie Colon of the Steelers, Terrell Suggs of the Ravens, and  Jamall Charles of the Chiefs. I’m truly looking forward to the event again this year 🙂

Here are a few more photos from last years event!!! 

Chick Webb Recreational Center

This was the first stop for the players being honored by the Ed Block Courage  Award Foundation. A lot of incredible people and opportunities for the kids. 

Absolutely gorgeous day for the players to spend time with the children. Above is Trevor Scott of the Oakland Raiders and some eager fans. Take note of the awesome activity in the background.

Jarett Dillard of the Jacksonville Jaguars and another player throw the children onto the velcro wall. Ok maybe not throwing, but the kids were having a blast!!


Not only were there great activities outside for all to enjoy…hair cuts were being provided in the rec center. Here you see Sam Lamantia, Jr. CEO and Chairman of the Board for the Ed Block Award Foundation styling the hair of (I think that term is appropriate for men) Paul Mittermeier Director of Communications of the Ed Block Foundation. Sam and Paul are two of the nicest people I have ever met. Very caring and genuine. 

Mike and Dani Utley…in 1991 Mike was playing for the Detroit Lions. In a game against the Los Angeles Rams he suffered a spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed from the waist down. Mike was also honored by the Ed Block Foundation for his tremendous courage and inspiration. Check out Mike’s Foundation and his efforts to find a cure for paralysis.

One evening an event was held for the sponsors….there was a big silent auction 

Winner I was not, I merely took this picture to elicit jealousy in the hearts of my brother’s Jon and Joel…(Yes..we all have the same initials)

Mike Nugent of the Cincinnati Bengals along with this wife…A syndicated radio show out of Columbus, OH “Dave and Jimmy” often call Mike as a special guest. Because I have listened to his interviews, I felt like we were old friends. On the other hand, Mike may have thought I was the “stalkarazzi” 

DeMeco Ryans of the Houston Texans (he’s now an Eagle) ……during our interview I said Houston Oilers a few times…that certainly tells my age…Wade Phillips was being honored so I may have been channeling his father’s energy…DeMeco was one of my favorite interviews……

At the banquet and some recipients… AFC and NFC West Brit Miller of the Rams, Early Doucet of the Cardinals, Curtis Brinkley the Charges, Trevor Scott of the Raiders, and Jon McGraw of the Chiefs

And the absolute highlight of my evening was meeting Sage Steele. Just incredibly dynamic and what all ESPN fan’s could hope for…exceedingly kind and lovely.. I did explain to Sage I wanted her job about 15 years ago, but that ship has now sailed. I do love my cooking show and blogging 🙂 

As you can see, this is an amazing time. This year should be just as fabulous!!

Now this recipe is not attached to any of the interviews from last year, but have faith in how delicious they are. Recently the chain “Chipotle” came to town. People are going insane over this food. Please know I do enjoy their dishes. However, for those who what to make it at home, I am here with my version of a few items……

Mexican style pork chop, cilantro rice, and black beans…

cilantro rice 020

Pork Chops…..


1- 2.5 lbs pork loin roast sliced into 1″ pieces


– 1 tsp cumin

– 1 tsp paprika

– 3/4 cup cilantro

– 1 packet Sazon with Coriander and Annatto


1. Slice pork roast into chops

2. Make paste…in food processor mix all of the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the olive oil into food process to make paste.

3. Rub paste all over chops, refrigerate for hour at least. Take out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

4. Heat skillet to medium temperature with some olive oil and sear pork on both sides for 3 minutes.

Cilantro Rice


– 1 1/2 cups white rice

– 3 cups of chicken broth or stock

– 3/4 chopped cilantro leaves

– olive oil

– garlic salt


1. In food processor, blend cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil or chicken stock. Make it a paste.

2. In large sauce pot, combine chicken stock, rice,  a drizzle of olive oil, cilantro paste and sprinkle with garlic salt (about a 1 tsp).

3. Bring to a boil and then cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove lids and allow to rice to rest. Fluff with fork.

Black Beans


2 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 cup red onion, finely chopped ( divided in 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can of 15.5 oz. canned black beans (UNDRAINED)

3/4 cup chicken stock

1 tsp. oregano

1 packet Sazon without Annatto

1 tbsp White Cooking vinegar

1 tomato seeds removed and diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro


1.  Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.

 2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

3. When I plate my beans, I top with chopped onion, tomato, and cilantro.

Love It!!!!

Remember…Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!!!