It’s funny how things change over time, how things we never thought would happen turn out to be true.
Two years ago, who would have thought an ostracized, dog-murdering Michael Vick could return to the NFL to become the league’s MVP.
Guess what, people. The unthinkable just might happen.
A few years back I actually placed a future bet on Vick to win league MVP. Most football fans remember he was that good, or at least had the potential to be. He ended up having an awful season and I lost my money. In time, we learned Vick wasn’t as committed to his craft as he should have been.
A lot has changed since then. Anyone who has watched Vick pre- and post-lock up knows he’s infinitely better now than he was then, finally living up to his number one draft status.
In a year that’s been characterized by parity, a clear-cut candidate for league MVP has yet to emerge. Vick’s chances will be hurt by the fact that he missed games due to injury (yeah, that’s the reason) but bringing Philadelphia an NFC East title and a potential first round bye will present a body of work that’s hard to argue with.
Still, I can’t help but wonder whether Vick’s history will make voters as hard-pressed to nominate him for MVP as Heisman voters will be in selecting Cam Newton.
But consider this. No running back is having a breakout season, so a quarterback will likely win the award. Vick leads the league in quarterback rating, throwing for thirteen touchdowns and only one interception. Phillip Rivers is atop the league in passing but his Chargers are not leading a division they were expected to dominate. Peyton Manning is having an un-Peyton-like season. Aaron Rodgers is playing well but his Packers were already supposed to be one of the league’s best teams. That leaves Tom Brady, the NFL’s favorite son. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if either Brady, Rivers or Rodgers won the award, or maybe even the Jets’ Mark Sanchez or Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. None are undeserving. But Vick is most certainly in the running.
While much of the anger surrounding Vick has subsided, many still wince at the thought of him even earning a paycheck, never mind being celebrated for his performance. Either way, as a free agent, even with a lockout looming, Vick is about to be paid handsomely for his efforts.
Recently, ESPN’s Colin Cowherd called Vick’s ‘the ultimate American redemption story,’ although personally I think Josh Hamilton’s is more appropriately named.
Hamilton was recently voted American League MVP. Both Hamilton and Vick were drafted number one and expected to change their respective sports. Both faced addictions that ruined their careers. While Vick’s sins were far greater, both were eventually allowed a shot at redemption and have made the most of it. Hamilton took his team to the playoffs and won MVP. We’ll see if Vick can follow suit.
But is the league ready to nominate Vick for its highest individual honor, essentially making him the face of the league? A less-calorie, comeback player of the year award is much more foreseeable.
The NFL never apologized for allowing Michael Vick back into the league. It shouldn’t apologize for giving him the MVP if its deserved. I’m just not sure they’re ready to do either.
I’m sure the NFL is ready to name Vick the MVP if his numbers support the award.
Football fans are probably about equally divided on nominating a convicted felon.
Personally I beleive in redemption.
Allow me to play devil’s advocate for just one second.
The NFL is in the middle of some pretty nasty labor relations. While the glass-half-full side of me says they’ll work things out, there’s no doubt that a bunch of millionaires arguing about why they can’t split all this money will piss off some people.
Counter that with those who still think Vick shouldn’t have been given a second chance because of his actions and you have a number of people who are not happy with the state of the sport.
Vick’s having a great season. He’s definitely a candidate. But given the choice between Tom Brady and Michael Vick, don’t you think the league would rather have Brady win the award?
Barring a late season collapse Brady will likely win it…or possibly Rivers if my Bolts continue to roll.
Vick is definitely a top contender though. If nothing else Vick will be able to enjoy his Sports Chump MEP (Most Exciting Player) trophy that you’ll be sending him in January.
The folks on 1st and Ten brought up a great point. How sweet would it be to see the Eagles head to play Atlanta for a playoff game.
And we thought Favre returning to Lambeau brought ratings!
Vick won’t be winning the MVP but I have it on good authority that PETA might give him something . As to what that might be your guess is good as mine ?
The BCS system is simply whacko ! No real risk and the rewards are tremendous for the upper tiered bowl games.
Hey guys we’re all going to the Nuts-n-Bolts Bowl ’cause we scratched and clawed our way to a 6 win season . Nice ! How’s that work for kNotre Dame ?
And as an independent they get a say as to who plays in the national title game. And that’s what you still believe to be fair and equitable ?
🙂 ____- 😛
Craig James is lookin’ to show some love to Leach in the most extraordinary of ways.
The Canes will look lure Mark Richt or Greg Schiano . Those two make sense as they know the lay of the land there in South Florida .
tophatal ……… 🙂
Bowl eligible ? That’s an affront to homeless and the needy as they look for a hot meal during what’s meant to be this season of giving !
For years, Al, we’ve bitched about the BCS, specifically who makes the title game.
But equally as important is who makes the other bowls. The Big Ten and SEC West were pretty nasty this year. How is the BCS going to account for that?
Notre Dame, huh? Brian Kelly read in one of their history books that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
And Schiano, Al? Think Miami would go for him when he should have gone their in the first place?
As we both know, Al, the bowl system is a lot closer to maintaining the status quo than it is to changing anything.
Like I said it’s a paid up membership of the ol’ boys’ network within the BCS ! The AD of the Canes wouldn’t know his own ass from that of a donkey’s ass …….. ‘nough said ! The Klan aren’t as secretive as the BCS but at least we actually do know where they stand on certain issues . Not necessarily so with the dumb asses of the BCS conferences and teams !
With University President Donna Shalala, it’s all ’bout the ‘cheddar’ ! Can I have fries with that ?
Jeter allegedly wants $20 mil a yr for 5 years ? What part of oh hell know doesn’t he and his agent understand ? I guess though the Yankees’ front office will cave in obeyance of his demands !
tophatal ….. 🙂
Jeter’s camp better recognize if they think they’re gonna get 100 mil for him over five years. But as a Yankee-hater, I do appreciate the drama.
Maybe Shalala can hire him as the next Miami head coach.
Although on second thought, I’m not sure they’d pay him that much either.
The mess and stench that’ll now emanate from the Canes will be rotten to the core. Now it”s being reported by the Miami Herald that Gruden is ready to listen to the overtures forthcoming from the AD of the university.
I don’t know that they’d be prepared to grant him that much power to begin with. They’re but a few coaches in all off collegiate football who’ve amassed that type of power.
As for Jeter , Cashman and the Yankees that’ll have either have a fairy tale ending or there’ll be a great deal of acrimony between the two sides in the end. He (Jeter) is now wondering why the Rockies can afford to give Tulowitzki an 7 yr $125 million deal ? Simply put Tulo’ stats are above that of Jeter’s over the past three years alone . Capt America is simply now only playing for the numbers as in hits as may well be looking at perhaps chasing down Rose’s alltime hit’s record ?
tophatal ……….. 🙂 😛
I just don’t see Gruden going there, Al. Even though it’s one of the most coveted head coaching gigs in college football, it’s still not the NFL. And with some juicy NFL jobs coming up this off-season, I don’t see Gruden taking his talents to South Beach.
My buddy’s a huge Yankees fan. Let’s just say I’m having some fun every second telling him that Jeter just signed with the Angels.
What team in the NFL </a? do you see Gruden wanting coach where there'll no doubt be a vacancy upcoming ? Bengals ? Cowboys ? Dolphins ? Broncos ? Look at the teams mentioned and tell me if you think there's any real talent there to begin with ?
Remember also there's a distinct possibility that you have a meddlesome owner who'll want to intervene .
tophatal ………. 🙂
Jeter signs with either Red Sox or Mets and he’ll be branded a traitor by the Yankees and their self righteous pompous fans !
Something to think about and wish for at this juncture isn’t it ?
Gruden would also be making considerably more at any of those places than he would in Miami, Al.
Dallas has talent. They’re not just using it.
And it’s about time the Sox get back at the Yankees for Boggs, Clemens, Damon, Torrez… should I continue?
I hope he will play more comfort and on best perform 🙂
I love MVP
It is interesting that Newton and Vick could both win their league’s highest honors. Vick has been better than he ever was with Atlanta. If you had to throw out a RB I’d put Arian Foster into the mix, but you’re right there are few elite backs this year.
I love lamp.
Good point about Foster. I had forgotten about him, Chap.
But I still think the QBs have it this year by a mile.
Thanks for coming by and commenting on the story about Vick4MVP a while back on our site. I appreciate that.
I still think he has a great case to get it, but I won’t be surprised if Brady wins it going away now. The Pats are on a roll, and he’s playing some great football. At this point, I’m even willing to ride with co-MVP, like we saw some years back with Air McNair and Peyton. We’ll see how it plays out.
After that Tuesday night loss and Brady breaking the streak, I think the award is as good as Brady’s, Kenny.
And along with my point of the article, I bet you, as much as the NFL would like to call Vick a great second chance story, they’re probably breathing a sigh of relief.
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