What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Just to be clear, the NFL Most Valuable Player Award is just about as much bullshit as the Heisman Trophy. By definition, the Heisman is supposed to go to the “best” player in college football, but it almost never does.
Take this year for example. If Lamar Jackson was the best player in college football in 2016, then I’m an Eskimo fighter pilot. Face the facts; the guy was such a myth his story should have names like “Zeus” and “Apollo” in it. He piled up the fat stats against teams like Syracuse, North Carolina State, and Boston College, then shrank faster than George Constanza’s penis against the likes of Houston and LSU. By the way, gagging at home against Kentucky negates anything you might try to tell me about the seal-clubbing of Florida State. Perhaps the Heisman folks shouldn’t allow a bunch of know-nothings to vote before the season is over.
In this case, “best player” means the award gets handed to the offensive player who has the sexiest numbers. That problem exists in the professional game as well. You can really just substitute the word “Heisman” for “MVP” and you’ve got the same situation; a bunch of pointy-heads who don’t know dick about football trying to pick the “best player” in the game.
The easiest way to tell when somebody doesn’t know shit about football is when their argument depends on statistics. That’s because there’s only two kinds of people who do that: the kind who don’t watch the games, or the kind who don’t know what they are watching. That’s how you end up with an award for the “best player” going to almost exclusively quarterbacks and running backs.
While there’s a bunch of groups who hand out their own MVP awards, there’s really only two that matter, the Associated Press (AP) and the Professional Football Writers Association (PFWA). The AP started handing out their award in 1957; the PFWA in 1975. That means not including what happens this year, combined they have given 102 MVP awards. Do you know how many times the recipient was not either a quarterback or a running back? Five.
Five since 1957, and none in almost 30 years. It gets even worse when you stop to consider the breakdown between quarterbacks and running backs.
For the AP (61 total awards):
For the PFWA (41 total awards):
This raises another point. Since the PFWA started gving MVP awards in 1975, do you know how many times they have given the award to the same person as the AP? 38 times out of 44. That’s 86% of the time, sports fans. Here’s when they didn’t:
Even when they disagree, these two organization are really only arguing over which quarterback or running back (with two exceptions) is the “best player” in the NFL.
That’s pure, uncut, USDA 100% prime bullshit.
It’s such a river of complete bovine scatology nobody ever seems to ask an important question: How can two groups of people look at a complex game in which there are 22 players on the field at all times and only see quarterbacks and running backs? Because they are a bunch of stat-readers. Most writers never played football, so most of them couldn’t tell you a good football player from a shitty one. This is why they depend entirely on statistics, and why awards like the Heisman and the NFL MVP are awarded predominantly to the guy with the gaudiest numbers…oh, and he has to be on a winning team.
That brings us to another question: Do the play-offs matter or not? If they do, then there’s no reason to have this discussion until after the Super Bowl. If they don’t, then stop telling me a player on team which doesn’t get into the post-season can’t be the MVP.
With that, here’s the Dubsism Deep Six – guys who all would make a better “MVP” than whoever does actually win it.
Don’t waste your time pointing out that we just railed about the MVP being disproportionately award to quarterbacks, and the first player we discuss is a quarterback. Worse yet, I’m going to quote statistics. The reason is rather simple. Some things simply can’t be ignored.
While there’s a lot of jock-sniffing going on over the numbers being put up by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan, nobody seems to have noticed Drew Brees just notched his fifth season with at least 5,000 passing yards. There’s two reasons why that is seriously impressive. He’s been doing this on a Saints team which in recent years has been notoriously thin on talent, and his having five 5,000-yard seasons means he has one more than every other quarterback in the history of the league combined.
5) Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Atlanta Falcons
The conventional wisdom in the NFL is that it is a quarterback-driven league. I’m asking if this is a quarterback-driven league, then isn’t their a great deal of value in players whose purpose is to destroy quarterbacks? You can win a lot of chess matches taking out your opponent’s queen, and you can win a lot of football games when the other guy’s quarterback spends most of the game flat on his back. Nobody did that better this season than Beasley. This could prove to be a major factor come Super Sunday.
Not to mention, how do you not love the fangs painted on his mouth-guard?
4) David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Just like I said with Drew Brees, don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying the MVP award should never be given to a quarterback or a running back; it’s just that I believe the recognition of being the “best player” shouldn’t reside exclusively with them. I also think the “best player” in the league doesn’t necessarily need to be on a good team.
That brings us to the case of David Johnson. If the Arizona Cardinals were a play-off team, he would be legitimately in the discussion for being the league MVP. His value to the Cardinals’ offense can’t be measured in mere statistics; but those are pretty damn impressive on their own. Johnson had fifteen straight games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in a season where he racked up 1,200 rushing yards, 800 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns.
3) Joe Thomas, LT, Cleveland Browns
Thomas is the best player at any position in the league, period. Can you name any other player currently in the NFL with 8 Pro Bowl nominations in their first ten seasons who also had 6 First-Team All-Pro selections?
Yeah, I thought so. Joe Thomas is so good at what he does that he gets noticed in the football wasteland known as Cleveland. The players and coaches in this league know all about Thomas even if the casual fan never heard of him.
2) Tyron Smith, LT, Dallas Cowboys
Forget all the fawning over Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. They’ve both had incredible seasons, neither of which are the reason why the Cowboys were the #1 play-off seed in the NFC. Believe me, as a life-long Philadelphia Eagles fan, it gives me nuclear-powered hemorrhoidal flare-up to say anything complimentary about the goddamn Dallas Cowboys, and right now there are three red-hot throbbing softballs hanging out of my ass. But I must give credit where it is due.
Everything the Cowboys achieved this year came from the offensive line, and Smith was the anchor of that group. It should speak volumes that Smith was picked as the All-Pro left tackle over future Hall-Of-Famer Joe Thomas.
1) Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay
Everybody was in love with the Packer team which was the hottest team in the play-offs before their buzz-saw dissection at the hands of the Falcons. Before that, nobody seemed to remember the team two months ago which was 4-6 and so injury depleted they were being laughed at for converting a wide receiver from the darkest recesses of the depth chart to a running back.
Nobody is laughing now.
Since about Week 12 of the regular season I was convinced that Aaron Rodgers should be scratched off the NFL MVP discussion list because he isn’t even the most valuable player on his team. You can doubt that all you want, but the fact is the three most endangered species in the world are:
When the Packers were down to using guys off the practice squad as running backs, opposing defensive linemen were scheduling routine meetings at Aaron Rodgers’ face mask. If you doubt that, just look at what happened in the NFC Championship game when the Falcons rolled through the Packers offensive line like the Japanese through the Russians at the Battle of Tsushima. Atlanta hit the Packers with a bag of chisels and walked over their collective body, but the whole reason they were even there was Ty Montgomery put the guts in Rodgers’ “run the table” prediction. Without Montgomery’s performance, Aaron Rodgers would likely have been another bundle of gauze in the surgical intensive care unit the Packers were this season.
Nobody can deny quarterbacks are important, but sometime the guy who keeps your quarterback alive is the most valuable.