Imagine being Aaron Rodgers. Yes, you’re a superstar, Super Bowl MVP quarterback of the defending champion Green Bay Packers, finally removing that southern monkey attached to your back that was one Brett Favre. You follow up your impressive Super Bowl season by starting 2011 on an even more ridiculous string of classic QB play that puts you at the very top of the NFL at the same position that features Tom Brady. You’ve got it made, right? Right.
You would think that 37 TDs to only 5 INTs and a 125.3 QB rating while leading the champs to a 12-0 record through the first week of December would unite this divided sports nation of ours in rightfully crowning A. Rodgers as the unanimous MVP of the league, right?
Instead, in recent weeks, we’ve seen Double Discount Aaron’s MVP campaign get slighted in favor of not only a second-year option quarterback who doesn’t even complete 50% of his passes, but today we get to see a case being made for another QB who hasn’t even played a down in 2011.
In the inaugural issue of NFL Magazine, a publication owned by the league, Peyton Manning gets the pick as 2011 Most Valuable Player. Peyton, as we all know by now, was ruled out for the season after his third neck surgery.
“Look, we all know who would win if we took a poll right now,” said Mike Dunphy, publisher and editor-in-chief of the freshly-christened venture, via the Los Angeles Times. “Aaron Rodgers would absolutely kill it. But if the Colts end up going the way they’re headed, the more it proves that Peyton really is the franchise….Is he really the MVP? Everybody has an opinion on that, and this is ours.”
First, this notion that just because the Colts suck this year that it’s all due to Peyton Manning being out is amazingly flawed logic. Indianapolis is 28th in total defense, and Peyton has never played a lick of defense in his pedigreed life. A look at Indy’s roster shows that they were due for a dropoff in production, Peyton or no Peyton.
Secondly, It’s about time to decree that the novelty picks for major awards in professional sports must be stopped. Never before has a player won the MVP award without actually playing, and there are many reasons why. The fact that a publication like NFL Magazine that theoretically speaks for the NFL’s credibility would officially endorse an absent Manning for its highest individual award in the midst of one of the greatest individual seasons in league history is laughable at best and asinine at worst. It’s amazing that they would be able to accomplish this feat on the first issue.
Dollars to donuts says Plaxico Burress gets the Comeback Player of the Year for NFL Magazine, despite a mostly mediocre season.