Super Bowl 2018: Eagles' Carson Wentz earns Humanitarian Award for philanthropy

EDINA, Minn. -- Carson Wentz won't be on the field when the Philadelphia Eagles storm U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl LII on Sunday evening.

The second-year quarterback will, however, be in the heart of the Eagles community.

There's two reasons for that. One: Without his elite start to 2017, which drew at least two MVP votes this week and confirmed that Philadelphia has its new face of the franchise, the Eagles probably wouldn't have been in the playoff picture to begin with. And two: As was highlighted at The Giving Back Fund's extravagant Super Bowl party Saturday night, Wentz has quite literally given himself to that community both before and after his season-ending injury.

Determined to "demonstrate the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need" through his AO1 Foundation, Wentz pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars to area charities in 2017, all while personally devoting time to children and families enduring medical hardships. And his philanthropic efforts were recognized in a presentation of The Giving Back Fund's Humanitarian Award during the nonprofit's annual Big Game Big Give event.

Wentz's brother, Zach, accepted the honor on behalf of the Eagles quarterback, who drew high praise from Marc Pollick, founder and president of The Giving Back Fund.

And amid a glitzy scene, with Jamie Foxx and Shaquille O'Neal headlining a makeshift dance party and hundreds of guests perusing the private home of Tom and Angie Wicka, he both conveyed his brother's humility and emphasized Carson's passion for the community in talking with CBSSports.com.

"He's a good role model for kids on the field," Zach said of Carson, "but if you dig deeper and see who he's really like, behind the scenes, behind closed doors, he's like, 'No matter my age, how many years of experience I have, I'm going to affect peoples' lives.' I think it's really cool now that (his) foundation is reflecting that."

The elder Wentz brother, who also accepted a piece of life-sized artwork modeled after the Eagles' signal-caller, didn't hesitate to touch on the socially conscious character of the rest of Philadelphia's locker room, either.

"Behind the helmet, they're good people," he said. "They're good dudes. They understand their life is much bigger than football ... To see the strength, the bond that those brothers have formed in their sense of community together, I have no doubt that (Carson) was meant to be in Philly."

And if all goes as planned, Zach added, his brother will be returning to the starting lineup in 2018 not only with a Humanitarian Award under his belt but also with a ring on his finger.

"I'm going to be watching from it the stands," he said of Sunday's big game, which The Giving Back Fund uses as a platform to collect more than $1 million in charity donations. "I don't really care how it gets done. I just think there's a lot, a lot of great people on that team, so I hope that they can get it done."

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