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Anquan Boldin, not Eli Manning, wins NFL Man of the Year Award

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) runs against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Credit: AP / Ben Margot

SAN FRANCISCO — Vince Lombardi said “winning isn’t everything.” Eli Manning found that out Saturday night.

The Giants quarterback was one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award at the NFL Honors show, but the recognition went to 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Saints tight end Benjamin Watson was the other finalist.

Manning has said ever since he was named a finalist last month that there really are no losers when it comes to this award.

“Just to be recognized as one of the three finalists, you kind of feel like you already won,” Manning said. “It’s not something I’m nervous about or ‘Oh, I’ve got to win this.’ It’s not a game, it’s not something that you can do anything about. I’m just proud of the work I’ve done in the community and helping other people. I’m happy for those organizations that I’ve helped, them being recognized and being brought up and talked about. That’s good for helping other people.”

The award, presented by Nationwide, recognizes an NFL player for excellence on and off the field. It was established in 1970, and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back.

Manning has served as the Chair of the New York March for Babies for the past seven years. He has helped to raise more than $25 million. He also spearheads “Tackle Kids’ Cancer,” an initiative with Hackensack University Medical Center and is responsible for establishing the Eli and Abby Manning Children’s Clinics in Mississippi.

No Giant has even won the award.

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