INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03: (L to R) Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears and Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens the three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, pose with the trophy following a news conference on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens took the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award over the Chicago Bears' Charles Tillman. The honor was announced at the NFL Honor Awards in Indianapolis on Saturday. Though it hurts not to see Tillman win, he did lose to one of the NFL's genuine good guys.
Birk, in his fourteenth season with the Ravens, is a father of six and a proponent of education in the Baltimore area.
Tillman was nominated for the Payton Award because of his many charitable works through the Cornerstone Foundation, which supports the families of critically-ill children. He started to focus on these families after his daughter Tiana received a life-saving heart transplant. He also had one of his best seasons ever, making it to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his nine-year career.
Last year, Chicago's Israel Idonije was also a finalist for the Man of the Year. Walter Payton, Dave Duerson, Mike Singletary, and Jim Flanigan have previously won the award for the Bears. It was renamed for Bears legend Payton not long after he died in 1999.