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Many times when you speak with Jarrett Bell, the longtime NFL columnist for USA TODAY Sports, he’ll start the conversation with the following: “I got a story for you.”

An hour later, Bell is off the phone and you are always, and I mean always, smarter for talking to him.

The best journalists and storytellers have lots of, well, stories to tell. JB, as many of us call him, excels at showing readers the true nature of professional football, on and off the field.

No writer now, or in history, has told the modern story of the National Football League, in all of its glory, lowness, greatness and power, better than JB.

This fact was reflected in a Wednesday announcement that Bell has won the Bill Nunn Jr. Award, which is awarded yearly by the Professional Football Writers of America in recognition of long and distinguished career contributions to professional football reporting. The award, which originated in 1969, was renamed in 2021 in tribute to Nunn, a longtime writer and editor at the Pittsburgh Courier.

Nunn had a long career in journalism and also worked for some 50 years in the scouting department for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2021, he became the first Black person elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Contributor category.

It’s good to see an award that tells the story of the storytellers recognize JB, who tells them so well.



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