Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis wants to play in Super Bowl 50. He wants it more than anything — well, except a victory while he’s there. And Davis is determined not to let a little thing like a broken arm stop him. Don’t be surprised to see Davis in uniform on February 7. He usually accomplishes what he sets out to do: that’s why he’s the current wearer of the prestigious badge of honor known as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
This year’s finalists for the Payton Man of the Year Award — given annually for on and off-field conduct and for giving back to the community — are Anquan Boldin (49ers), Benjamin Watson (Saints), and Eli Manning (Giants). No New York Giant has ever won the award in its 45 year history. Manning would be the first — and he has said it would be a tremendous honor: “I’m proud of the work I do, on and off the field,” says Manning. This year Davis will be glad trade what he has for what Manning has. Manning has Super Bowl rings — two of them. Meaning that after the 2007 and 2011 seasons Eli Manning was man of the year in his town no matter who won the NFL’s Payton prize. Thomas Davis would really like to try being that kind of man of the year this year — a Super Bowl champion man of the year.