FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Kimberly-Clark Corporation representatives will present the 2005 Patriots 12th Player Award to 12th-year veteran Willie McGinest at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 12:15 p.m. The award is presented annually to the Patriots player who personifies the Patriots team spirit and is recognized for his contributions to the organization, both on the field and in the community. For the past 11 years, Patriots fans have selected the winner by casting their votes at Shaw's Supermarkets throughout the season and by voting online at www.shaws.com. Recent winners include wide receiver/defensive back Troy Brown in 2004, defensive tackle/fullback Dan Klecko in 2003, kicker Adam Vinatieri in 2002, quarterback Tom Brady in 2001 and linebacker Tedy Bruschi in 2000.
McGinest was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft and has helped the Patriots win six division championships, four conference championships and three Super Bowl titles during his illustrious career. This season, McGinest has started every game at outside linebacker, extending his current streak to 37 consecutive games - the longest active streak among Patriots defenders. His 6.5 sacks this year rank second on the team behind Rosevelt Colvin's seven sacks. He now has 78.5 career sacks, tops among all active NFL linebackers. His sack total ranks third in franchise history. Only Andre Tippett (100 sacks) and Julius Adams (79.5) finished their Patriots careers with more sacks.
The two-time Pro Bowl performer has also been a star off the field, to the benefit of children throughout New England this holiday season. Earlier this month, McGinest hosted his second annual "Shop with a Jock" event at a local retail outlet. More than 30 teammates participated in the event, in which each player took local children on a holiday season shopping spree. He was also one of seven Patriots players to participate in spreading holiday cheer at Children's Hospital in Boston, where he presented the hospital with a check for $10,000 from proceeds he raised during his annual Thanksgiving fundraiser. He was also one of the star attractions at the team's annual holiday party for underprivileged children at Gillette Stadium. Just last month, he accompanied 10-year-old Beau Barrows to his fifth-grade class in Milford, Mass. as a part of the NFL's "Take a Player to School" program, where he spoke to an assembly of over 900 students on the importance focusing on schoolwork and participating in after-school programs.
The 12th Player Award has become a core component of the partnership between Kimberly-Clark and the New England Patriots. Customers who voted at Shaw's or online at www.shaws.com are eligible to win great prizes, including a grand prize that will provide a trip for two to attend the championship game in Detroit, courtesy of Kimberly-Clark. Other prizes included Patriots season tickets and autographed merchandise.