Wanamaker Award goes to Villanova's championship football team

Posted: May 20, 2010

Win a football championship and good things keep happening.

Villanova's national-champion football team is the winner of this year's Wanamaker Award. Coach Andy Talley and the team will be honored at a luncheon June 29 in the Wanamaker Building's Crystal Tea Room.

In securing their first national football title last season, the Wildcats (14-1) won four playoff games, concluding with a 23-21 victory over top-seeded Montana in the Football Championship Subdivision title game.

"I took a look at the previous Wanamaker winners and thought, 'Wow, we're in some really amazing company,' " Talley said yesterday. "To be recognized in Philadelphia actually is more important than nationally, because Philly has that persona of toughness, hardness, [we] won't accept anything less than a parade. I walk into restaurants and places now, and people come up to me and say, 'You guys were great.' "

Previous Wanamaker winners include the Phillies from 2007-09, Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlain and Joe Frazier.

The award is presented to the athlete, team or organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and to their team or sport.

Two years ago, Talley and the Villanova football team were presented the Community Service Award for their work with the National Marrow Donor Program, which promotes bone-marrow transplants.

The Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau, presents the awards each year in conjunction with Amerimar/Behringer Harvard, owner of the Wanamaker building and longtime sponsor of the award.

The winner of the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award is SquashSmarts. Operating out of Drexel University and North Philadelphia's Lenfest Center, SquashSmarts combines playing squash with academic tutoring and mentoring for urban youths to develop self-esteem and discipline.

The Sports Congress, Amerimar/Behringer Harvard, the Daily News and CBS-3 present the awards ceremony and luncheon. The awards committee consists of sports and media representatives. *

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