The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission dedicated two of its awards Wednesday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards toward two of the biggest football achievements in Cleveland from 2021.
The first was the Professional Athlete of the Year Award, given to Browns DE Myles Garrett after his record-setting season. Garrett, the first overall pick from 2017, set the franchise record with 16 sacks as well as the single-game sack record when he compiled 4.5 sacks against the Bears in Week 3. Garrett beat out the Guardians' Jose Ramirez and the Cavaliers' Darius Garland for the award.
"Thank you to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission for presenting me with the Professional Athlete of the Year Award," Garrett said. "I want to say thanks to the Sports Commission for all you do in the Cleveland community. Thanks, especially, to everyone who voted for me to win this award, and the incredible fans of Cleveland, Ohio. There are no fans quite like you. I'd also like to thank my teammates, coaches, friends and everyone else who helped me along the way. I couldn't have done it without you."
The second award was for Best Moment, which was dedicated to the city of Cleveland after it hosted the 2021 NFL Draft. The three-day event took place on a giant amphitheater constructed downtown next to FirstEnergy Stadium and was considered a success for the city, with restaurants and local downtown businesses receiving a needed revenue boost as they recovered from the financial difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The draft was also considered a big success for the NFL. The league previously held its draft and other league-wide meetings virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the draft signified a return to normalcy and offered refreshing scenes of fans congregating to celebrate an important period on the NFL calendar.
Browns' 2021 first-round pick CB Greg Newsome II and legendary QB Bernie Kosar accepted the Best Moment award on stage at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.