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Outlaws of the autumns, swashbuckling marauders of the gridiron, the Raiders are the league’s bad guys by choice and design.
For Silver and Black fullback Alec Ingold, however, being the white hat among the wild bunch is a celebration of each of the endeavors in his life he’s most passionate about: playing Raiders football and positively affecting his community.
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“It’s kinda cool. You get to put on a helmet and shoulder pads, you get to be the outlaw, you get to be a bully. You get to be with a bunch of guys that love playing football,” Ingold says. “[You get to be part of] that whole aura on Sundays. And then Tuesday you can go out and help a community and see a spark in a kid’s eyes. It is cool doing both of those things.”
As the Las Vegas Raiders’ nominee for the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year, Ingold has devoted his time and energy to fundraising for and serving nutritious meals to those who need them most, supporting the Special Olympics and spreading awareness about the need and importance for foster and adoptive families. He’s done it all while blocking for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and paving the way for running back Josh Jacobs’ 1,000-yard season.
Among the 32 nominees, Ingold, in just his second NFL season, is the least experienced among the field. No player has ever won the award in their first three seasons, according to NFL Research, and Ingold has an opportunity to do it in Year 2.
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“It means the world to me,” Ingold says of the nomination. “It wasn’t really on my radar. As a young guy, my second year and I was undrafted last year. So, to kinda receive that respect among the guys in your facility, in your organization, was pretty surreal.”
It’s all the more surreal as Ingold is the only fullback in the field of nominees and having a trying year on the field, though it’s been one in which he’s carried on no matter the obstacles.
Slowed by busted ribs sustained in early November, Ingold was relegated to sleeping on the couch for a few weeks. That was, for a time, where his daily routine began. Early to wake to get additional treatment, to get his body warmed up for the grind of practices, the 24-year-old hasn’t missed a game. Perhaps more inspiring, though, is that it hasn’t slowed Ingold off the field.
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“Learning how to deal with adversity and still being able to impact a community is amazing,” Ingold says.
Though the honor was unexpected for Ingold, it was an aspiration all the same.
Given annually, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is recognized as the league’s most prestigious honor and recognizes NFL players “for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”
Striving to become part of the prestigious class of honorees was something that came into view roughly a year ago when Ingold accompanied Jacobs to Miami ahead of the Super Bowl.
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“I remember going to the Super Bowl with Josh, the NFL Honors show,” Ingold says. “He was up for Rookie of the Year and he brought me, so [I had a chance] to kinda experience everything. It was our rookie year together. To see [2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year] Calais Campbell speak last year. You know you get a little taste of everything at the Super Bowl, right? You get the advertisement, endorsement stuff. You get the radio-side of things. And then, you get the NFL Honors show.
“When Calais talked, that was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’s the impact I want to have – moving forward for the rest of my life.’ After seeing all that, trying everything, to have that speech, that moment kind of be like that’s what I want to do down the road, I was expecting to kinda have this long-term goal. And for that nomination to be happening this year is kind of surreal for me.”
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HENDERSON, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders announced today Alec Ingold as the Silver and Black’s nominee for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Each of the league’s 32 nominees were announced today.
As a nominee, Ingold, in his second season with the Raiders after joining the Silver and Black as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2019, will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field. Ingold fits to a tee the criteria for the “ideal” Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee: demonstrates consistency in positive character and models a lifestyle of giving back, shows dedication and commitment to community efforts this year, shows dedication and commitment to community efforts in years past and demonstrates excellence on the field.
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Ingold this year took on an initiative that was very personal. He was adopted at birth and committed to help spread awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families. He will be involved with several campaigns including Adoption Month and a Las Vegas television station series which features local children seeking fostering or adoption. He is also working with the Clark County Department of Family Services on social media postings to raise awareness for their foster and adoption programs.
Ingold utilized the power of social media to institute a motivational series titled “Mindset Monday” on Instagram. Posts supported by video included: “Run YOUR Race. Take ownership of where you’re headed in life!” In another, he noted, “Believe in your vision! Be different.” Ingold also posted, “Maximize your impact on the people around you. Everyone has a legacy, what will yours be?”
Prior to Election Day, Ingold led a call to encourage voting, participating in a “Get Out and Vote” campaign that included being part of a Public Service Announcement. In early October, Ingold joined Special Olympics athletes from Nevada and California as they participated in “Virtual Fall Sports & Fitness,” a seven-week training program similar to their in-person sports season but conducted from the safety of their homes. A few weeks later, Ingold led Special Olympians through drills during a virtual flag football minicamp. In November, he participated in a virtual film breakdown with Las Vegas Centennial High School running backs as part of the Raiders ELITE Academy series and offered advice and encouragement to the student-athletes.
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While training this summer, Ingold, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree as a personal finance major at Wisconsin, discussed personal finances with Las Vegas high school students from the UNLV Young Executive Scholars (YES) Hospitality & Tourism Program. In addition to stressing the importance of managing finances, Ingold, who is pursuing an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, addressed topics that included goal setting, prioritizing, work discipline and teamwork.
Ingold spearheaded a fundraising activity to support the Three Square Food Bank’s Coronavirus Emergency Food Fund, which resulted in over 31,000 healthy meals going directly to vulnerable Las Vegas populations such as children, seniors, veterans and furloughed workers. At the onset of the pandemic when many began to quarantine, Ingold recorded a Raiders Fit workout video that was posted online to promote physical and mental health. His home workout routine was constructed so that it could be done anywhere without equipment and included jumping jacks, squats and push-ups. Ingold began 2020 serving and sharing nutritious meals with first and second grade students at Jack Dailey Elementary, a Title I school in Las Vegas, highlighting the importance of fueling up for a successful school day.
As a rookie, less than 24 hours after the Raiders’ regular season opener and on his first off day after making the final roster, he led over 100 students from Oakland’s Futures and CUES at Lockwood Elementary School through stretch routines and football drills while also promoting the Play 60 message of being active for 60 minutes every day. A week later, he joined with 80 students from Davis Street Family Resource Center at Roosevelt Elementary School in San Leandro, California with a Birthday Book Bash to promote literacy.
During the Raiders’ trip to London in 2019, Ingold joined several teammates and Alumni in visiting the Royal Air Force Mildenhall Base in Suffolk, England to meet and support Airmen and their families. He welcomed families of fallen heroes from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to a practice and joined his position group in representing the name of a different fallen hero on the back of his jersey. Ingold also volunteered at the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry, where he sorted and distributed food to low-income families in San Leandro.
Named a Pro Bowl alternate at fullback in his first NFL campaign, Ingold holds the distinction of registering the first Raiders touchdown in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium on a 3-yard reception from QB Derek Carr versus New Orleans on September 21. The Green Bay, Wisconsin native stays close to his roots and was looking forward to giving back to his hometown. He planned to host a free football camp at his high school last summer that was rescheduled due to the pandemic.
For the third year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LV. The 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the week of Super Bowl LV, on CBS. All 32 nominees will receive a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide. In 1974, George Blanda was named NFL Man of the Year while playing for the Raiders and current tight end Jason Witten was presented with the award in 2012 while a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Giving of his time and efforts off the field didn’t emanate from Miami, though. It’s something that’s been with Ingold for quite some time – all the way back to growing up in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Always quick to point out and appreciate the efforts of a support staff that includes his marketing and community relations teams, it’s always begun with his parents – mother Chris and father Pat.
“I think it really starts with my parents. Being adopted, understanding how important that support system was for me, how I was raised,” Ingold says. “My parents mean the world to me and the way they raised me growing up, I always knew it was about helping the person next to you. Whether that’s on the football field being accountable, being a good teammate or in the community, having a platform to give back. It really starts with them. That whole adoption thing is huge for me. I feel like that gives me a sense of, ‘I’m on this planet to do something.’ There’s that divine intervention of ‘I’m here for a reason.’ I’m gonna do everything I can to impact the people around me because that’s what my parents did for me. They gave me the best opportunity possible to live out my dreams. That’s kind of where I got that from and that’s where the support toward Raise the Future AdoptUSKids, the national spokesperson-type thing kind of parlays into that.”
Ahead of Election Day, Ingold was active in a “Get Out and Vote” campaign and he offered his support to Special Olympics competitors from Nevada and California by way of a “Virtual Fall Sports & Fitness” workout. In Las Vegas, Ingold aided the Three-Square Food Bank’s Coronavirus Emergency Food Fund in providing 31,000 healthy meals for kids, veterans and furloughed workers and he also served meals to first- and second-graders at Jack Dailey Elementary. But it’s adoption and AdoptUSKids that beckons him above all and what he’s chosen as the charity that will receive an NFL donation in his name as a result of Ingold’s MOTY nomination.
“I just hope people talk about how important adoption is,” Ingold says. “It changed my life. I’m a living testimony of someone who was adopted and was given a great opportunity to live my best life because I had a great adopted family. I just hope that having those conversations helps one more family, helps one more kid find that home.”
Able to find a home long ago, Ingold’s now aiming to do the same for others.
Ingold is now a Las Vegas fullback, but was once a Green Bay kid who was able to listen to Packers such as Ahman Green, William Henderson, Randall Cobb, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers speak and give back to their community.
“I was that wide-eyed kid,” Ingold says. “That meant the world to me, just seeing them.
“Those people kind of shaped my life growing up. And I know that’s kind of the impact people can have in the NFL, just by smiling, by shaking someone’s hand, by having conversation.”
Among the Silver and Black’s storied brutes and bandits, a once-wide-eyed kid has emerged as one of the NFL’s 32 best men.