Bryan Scott has one good reason to watch the Super Bowl.
Scott, a Doylestown native, CB East graduate and former player for the Warminster Pioneers, plays outside linebacker for the Buffalo Bills. And though his team, at 5 - 9, will not be making the playoffs, this year's season has earned Scott some meaningful recognition.
Scott won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for the Buffalo Bills.
"I had a foundation fundraiser last Monday and it was there at the event that they awarded it to me," Scott told Doylestown Patch on Tuesday. "It caught me off guard. I had no idea it was coming."
Given every year since 1970, the award recognizes an NFL player for exemplary play - and exemplary devotion to community service.
Scott was recognized for his dedication to encouraging young people to follow their passions.
"My passions have always been sports and music," said Scott, who excelled at both while at CB East. He graduated in 1999 and went on to Penn State before heading to the NFL.
His Pick Your Passion Foundation for the Arts established a program called ARTventure. It takes students from a school in Buffalo on monthly field trips to different art and music venues throughout the area.
He also has supported the NFL’s PLAY 60 mission, taping public service announcements encouraging children to be physically active for at least 60 minutes each day.
"Bryan Scott has worked hard every day of his NFL career to not only help his team, but the community that surrounds him," Gretchen Geitter, Buffalo Bills Vice President of Community Relations, said in a statement.
Scott said when he first became interested in starting his Team BScott foundation, he sought advice from Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn. In 2004, Dunn won the league's Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his own community service.
"It was my rookie year, and the advice he gave me was, whatever the platform is, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about," Scott recalled. "Who would have thought that from that conversation, I would go on to receive the same award that he received."
Scott now joins the 31 other players nominated by their teams. As finalists, all 32 are able to designate a charity of their choice to receive $1,000.
A panel of judges will pick the annual award winner for the entire league. Announced during the Super Bowl, the winner will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Three additional finalists receive $5,000 for their favorite charity.