Despite not making it to the playoffs, it's been successful season for Charles Tillman. First, Tillman was named to his first Pro Bowl. Now he's being recognized as a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award celebrates a player's off-the-field community service in addition to their performance on the field.
"Peanut" launched his Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation in 2005. It's orginal mission was to provide children with educational opportunities and resources to excel in the classroom.
In 2008, after finding out his daughter, Tiana, had dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the heart to weaken and enlarge, Tillman changed the mission of his organization to "improve the lives of critically and chronically ill children throughout the Chicago area by providing support and life-changing experiences".
The two other finalists are Matt Birk from the Ravens and Phillip Rivers of the Chargers.
Walter Payton (1977), Dave Duerson (1987), Mike Singletary (1990) and Jim Flanigan (2000) are Bears players who have won the award. Israel Idonije was a finalist last year.