For the second time this week, Bucs right guard Davin Joseph was rewarded for his great work and contributions as a Buccaneer in 2011. On Tuesday, Joseph was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl for a solid season of play on the field. On Thursday, the veteran offensive lineman was chosen as the team’s NFL Man of the Year for his great off-the-field efforts in the Tampa Bay community.
As the Bucs’ Man of the Year, Joseph is one of 32 nominees for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award and a $1,000 donation will be made in his name to the charity of his choice. The two-time Pro Bowl selection was surprised to receive this award and is honored to know that he has the potential opportunity to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award during Super Bowl week.
“I really didn’t do [all of the community work] thinking I was going to get an award, but it’s a heck of an honor to get an award of this prestige, so I’m just thankful,” Joseph said.
Joseph has been very active in the community in his six seasons as a Buccaneer, helping to develop the “Turkey Time with the O-Line” program in 2007 and for the past three years, serving as the team’s spokesman for the NFL and United Way’s “LIVE: UNITED” campaign. Joseph has also sponsored and participated in various shopping sprees and gift events for underprivileged families during the holiday season and has provided various charity groups with tickets to Bucs home games through his Davin’s Dream Team program.
In 2011, he took his charity work a step further and established the Davin Joseph Events for Cause Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization committed to serving urban areas in Tampa and in his hometown of Hallandale Beach. This foundation helps to enhance athletic and performing arts programs in public schools by instituting safe and structured programs, enhancing athletic facilities, and encouraging students to have a greater community involvement. Joseph also adopted the Blake High School football team this year and attended the team’s Friday night games as well as donated $10,000 to the athletic program.
“It’s been a really fun year working with the community,” said Joseph. “We had our fifth annual Turkey Time with the O-Line during Thanksgiving week. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with Blake High School and Melbourne High School and make sure their football team and performing arts program are safe. So far, so good, and hopefully there will be more things to come.”
After the season concludes, Joseph will finally get a small break from all of the hard work and dedication that he has put forth this year and he will get to have that vacation in Hawaii at the end of January. Aside from Indianapolis, Hawaii is the place that most NFL players would like to be at that time next year and Joseph will be bringing along the rest of his offensive line unit for the trip.
“This is not an individual award, it’s a group effort,” said Joseph. “[Our offensive line] challenges each other on a day-to-day basis and is always looking to get better. That is one thing that is just a reflection of how hard the offensive line has been working this year. I am proud to be the one that was chosen, but I couldn’t do [it] without my guys. Of course you know I thank God first.”
Similar to his reaction when he received the team’s Man of the Year award, the humble Joseph was also surprised to learn of his Pro Bowl nod.
“I was really surprised,” said Joseph. “I thought that we were playing well up front, but you know, wins and everything else go into account. I just play hard each and every week, but I am proud to get a chance to play in another Pro Bowl.
"I just really want to represent the Buccaneers and show that we have talented players here and that we have a bright future here. I am just the first this year, but soon to come we will see a lot of guys in this locker room taking their trip to Hawaii.”
- Victoria Horchak contributed to the story