Ruben Brown at the Big Tree Inn. October 12, 2009. Photo by Matt Warren.
The Buffalo Bills announced yesterday that former guard Ruben Brown will be honored by the team this fall as recipient of the 25th annual Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. He will receive the award prior to the Bills' November 14 tilt against the Detroit Lions.
The award was established by the Monday Quarterback Club in 1986 to honor former players for long and meritorious service to the Bills. Andre Reed became the 30th former Bills player to be selected for the award last October.
Brown spent nine years with the Bills, starting 136 games over his career. He was named to eight straight Pro Bowls from 1996-2003, and finished his career in Chicago with four seasons and one more trip to the Pro Bowl in 2006. During his time with Buffalo, he opened holes for thousand-yard rushers Thurman Thomas, Antowain Smith, and. He was named second-team All-Pro four times from 1998-2002. In 1999, 2001, and 2002, Brown was recognized as the Bills recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The Ruben Brown Foundation was founded in 2001. According to their website, the foundation’s mission is to "provide assistance to charities and community organizations that focus on the development of youth through athletics, cultural and educational programs." The main event on the foundation's calender each year is the Ruben's Run motorcycle ride.
Past players to recently win the award include Steve Tasker (2001), Kent Hull (2001), Frank Reich (2005), Phil Hansen (2006), and Mark Kelso (2008). Brown becomes the youngest and most recently active honoree.