Longtime NFL reporter and former Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks has been named the 2020 Dick McCann Award winner by The Professional Football Writers of America. The award is given to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.
Banks, who covered the NFL for most of his 36-year career in sportswriting, died last August at age 56.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to the PFWA for recognizing Don with this award, as well as to the loyal readers who supported him throughout his career," his wife, Alissa Banks, said. "Don’s work was his passion, and he would truly be humbled by this recognition. I choose to think that he is celebrating this great honor right along with those who love and miss him.”
After Banks was hired in 2000, his popular “Snap Judgments” column on SI.com joined Dr. Z’s writing and Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column as a "formidable triumvirate" of pro football coverage.
As Sports Illustrated senior writer Jenny Vrentas wrote of Banks in August, he established himself as "one of the most reliable media voices by always finding a way to make sense of what we were all watching and talking about.
"More importantly, he was also one of the most trusted people you could ever work with."
At Super Bowl LIV in Miami, the NFL paid tribute to Banks by reserving a press box seat in his honor.
A week before his death, Banks started a new job as an NFL writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.