Pasquarelli to receive McCann award from PFWA

Len Pasquarelli, a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com, has been selected by the Pro Football Writers of America as the 2008 recipient of the Dick McCann Award.

The award, named for the first executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is given annually by the PFWA to honor one of its members for distinguished service.

Pasquarelli graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a teacher, newspaper stringer and youth football coach, at one point working with a young Dan Marino. He became editor of Pittsburgh Steelers Weekly in 1978. In 1982, he was a staff writer for Pro Football Weekly.

In 1986, Pasquarelli began covering the Indianapolis Colts for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. Three years later, he went to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to cover the Atlanta Falcons. During those days as a beat writer, Pasquarelli gained recognition for breaking news stories on a national basis as well as news about the teams he regularly covered.

A decade later, he became one of the first top NFL reporters to enter the world of cyberspace when he went to work for Sportsline.com. In 2001, he became a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Pasquarelli became ill during Pro Football Hall of Fame voting at Super Bowl XLII and underwent emergency quintuple bypass surgery -- but not before he had voted and written his column. While recovering in the hospital, he pulled out his computer and filed a number of news stories.

Pasquarelli will be honored at this year's Hall of Fame Dinner at the Pro Football of Hall Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Among other awards announced by the PFWA on Friday, former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett, who recovered from a life-threatening spinal injury to walk again, was honored with the Halas Award for overcoming adversity. Everett, who sustained a spinal injury on a kickoff during the Bills' season-opening game, was able to return to Buffalo and greet his teammates before their final game of the season.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.