AQB Two-Minute Read: The Silliness of MVP Voting
My friends, THE GURU thinks that old sage, John McEnroe, said it best.
The tennis legend’s outburst came to mind when I read this ESPN story, including a breakdown of which candidates received votes for first through fifth place in a poll of football writers and broadcasters.
Putting aside Jackson’s strong MVP case, why didn’t two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes receive a first- OR second-place vote after willing his team to its eighth straight AFC West title?
Why did rookie sensation C.J. Stroud only earn four votes, all for fifth place, after leading the Texans to an eight-win improvement and a playoff win?
Why did Buffalo’s Josh Allen get just one first place vote after putting the Bills on his back and winning five straight games to reach the postseason?
There are two reasons for the voters’ shortsightedness:
1. Knee-jerk game-to-game reactions e.g., when Baltimore walloped San Fran on Christmas night, multiple outlets wrote that Jackson leapfrogged Niners QB Brock Purdy as the MVP frontrunner. Seven weeks later, Purdy has his team in the Super Bowl and Jackson is, once again, at home1.
2. A herd mentality with a voter or two getting behind a specific candidate and all of the other sheep getting in line. See above.
Purdy finished fourth in MVP voting, one slot below teammate Christian McCaffrey. Mahomes was further down the list in seventh place.
Of course, this trio isn’t worried about individual awards at this point. Unless that honor is Super Bowl MVP.