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Virgen: Lott happy for 10th

Virgen's View

December 11, 2013|By Steve Virgen
  • Anthony Barr of UCLA won the Lott IMPACT Trophy on Sunday.
Anthony Barr of UCLA won the Lott IMPACT Trophy on Sunday. (Genaro Molina,…)

For the 10th straight year the IMPACT Foundation and several others in the community celebrated Ronnie Lott, the trophy named after him and all things football, at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach Sunday night.

It wasn't called the 10th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy ceremony, rather the 10th anniversary. Lott and his friends made sure there would be a celebratory theme, mixed in with the usual desire for charity and focus on character.

After all, IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

The award goes to a standout defensive player who shows all those facets. Popularity of the award has grown each year, Lott and others on the award's board say. The award, as well as the charities that benefit in the name of it, has been meaningful throughout the 10 years. The IMPACT Foundation has raised over a million dollars during that time.

"What I like about this event is that we found a real nice community who are caring about the right things," Lott said just before he welcomed Peter Ueberroth into the banquet room. "Right now we're celebrating football and we're celebrating changing people's lives. That's the most important thing."

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They were all there to honor linebacker Anthony Barr, who became the first UCLA Bruin to win the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Barr found character, and his niche, by switching from running back to the other side of the ball. He should be finding a lucrative career very soon, as he could very well be a top-five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Barr led the Bruins with 20 tackles for losses. He also had 10 sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumbles recoveries and 62 total tackles.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy also has an honorary recipient each year. This year it went to Brian Banks, the former Long Beach Poly star who was wrongly accused of sexual assault.

Banks, who was in prison for more than five years, was exonerated last year. He gained stints on the Seahawks and Falcons before playing a bit in the UFL.

A video of Banks' story was shown before Banks accepted the award. Banks received a standing ovation. He also later announced Barr as the winner.

Lott alluded to Banks during the night as an example of what it takes to win, and what it takes to live with meaning.

"You can't quit," Lott said during his message early in the evening's program. "You gotta believe when you're down. You don't quit in life. These guys, [the award's candidates], they understand what it means not to quit."

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