Stephen Tulloch named Robert Porcher Man of the Year

Posted Feb 9, 2013

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch wins the Detroit Lions award for off-the-field community service

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch has always had an eye toward helping the underprivledged.

From his days growing up in Miami to his time in Nashville with the Tennessee Titans to his current days in Detroit, Tulloch has focused on others without looking for any recognition in return.

He does get recognized for his contributions despite his best efforts, however, this year receiving the Detroit Lions Robert Porcher Man of the Year award for his off-the-field community service.

The award made him one of 32 finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year honor (this year awarded to Dallas tight end Jason Witten, as announced at Super Bowl SLVII) and awarded him $1,000 toward his foundation.

“The mission (of my foundation) is to reach out to people and help as many people as I can, whether it be sick children (or) children who are foster children - just (to help) people in need in general," said Tulloch.

"My goal is to love on Detroit and, when my career is over playing football, just to continue to give back the best way that I can and help others and touch people the best way I can."

His goal of simply helping people is a general one, but he gets specific based on the things that have impacted his life. Tulloch has had people close to him die of cancer, for example, resulting in him having a special place in his heart for those with the disease.

Last year, Tulloch reached out to Ryan Kennedy, a 10-year-old cancer patient.

Tulloch went to Kennedy's house to spend the day, playing video games and talking. Ten days later, Kennedy passed away. Tulloch stayed close with the family and had silicone bracelets made with Kennedy's name on them. He wore one throughout the 2012 season.

"I look at my life and the people that I encounter," said Tulloch. "I've been around areas where people weren't fortunate enough to have school supplies and clothes and what not, so I help people that need school supplies and clothes.

"I've been around people that didn't have Thanksgiving dinners and food to eat, so I go out there and try to rally up a bunch of people to try to give food back to people who need it for Thanksgiving.

"I just try to help as many people as I can. I don't gear it toward one particular cause."

Tulloch signed a five-year deal prior to the 2012 season, keeping him rooted in Detroit for awhile, which is fine by him as it pertains to his foundation.

"I think, by far, the most impact I’ve had was in Detroit," said Tulloch, who has done everything from take kids to the movies to donate game tickets.

"I could never have imagined growing my foundation the way I have since I've been in Detroit and it’s only getting bigger and bigger. Hopefully I can continue this for a long time, well beyond my days of playing football, and I can consider myself to have had an impact on the City of Detroit."