Helping children pushes Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers can be excused for breaking his personal vow not to go to the Super Bowl unless it was to play in the game.

Even though San Diego Chargers’ season may have ended in disappointment for Rivers and his teammates, the Pro Bowl quarterback has definitely earned his ticket to Indianapolis. Rivers will be in the spotlight Saturday night when he is a finalist for the NFL Man of the Year award. It is the most prestigious off-field honor the league bestows. The other finalists for the award that focuses on charitable efforts are Baltimore’s Matt Birk and Chicago’s Charles Tillman.

Rivers is a finalist based on the work of the Rivers of Hope Foundation he formed with his wife, Tiffany, in 2010. The foundation focuses on finding homes for San Diego County’s abandoned children. The foundation has found strong success.

Rivers credits his wife for her strong efforts behind the scenes and the San Diego community for supporting the foundation.

“It’s humbling just to be a finalist,” Rivers said Wednesday in a phone interview. “I looked at the list of previous winners and it was a field with great players and great people and the fact that the award is named after someone as great as Walter Payton is special as well.”

Rivers, 30, said he feels like it is his responsibility as a professional athlete to make a difference as a role model and focusing his cause on children was an easy choice. Philip and Tiffany Rivers have six kids of their own.

“Children are our passion,” Rivers said. “I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t have a heart for kids. It’s easy to have a passion for this cause, to make sure as many as kids as possible have a safe, happy home.”

Good luck to Rivers on Saturday night.