Posted by Mike Florio on 1/6/09, 1:09 p.m.

So let’s get this straight.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ performance in 2008 merited not a single vote for the Associated Press MVP award.  Not one.  Not even half of one.

But Brees did enough to be named the league’s offensive player of the year.  By the same Associated Press (and likely the same voters) that determine the MVP.

Our only explanation is that all postseason voting was performed under the influence of egg nog.  (Or Yoo-hoo.)

How can it be that Brees got 22 votes for one award, and none for the other?

And please don’t give us the “he was a fabulous performer but was simply not valuable to his team because they missed the playoffs” crap.  A quarterback has a clear and obvious connection to the fate of his team.  Piling up a bunch of passing yards without doing enough to be regarded as “valuable” makes such a quarterback no better than a kicker.

In our view, it’s another example of the profound problems with the AP voting procedures.  A system based on fifty first-place-only (unless we’re dealing in fractions) votes simply doesn’t work.

(Maybe we’ve found a way around it.  Since votes can be split, then the voters can create their own Heisman-style system by giving one guy 1/2 of the vote, another one 3/10, and a third player 2/10.)

Meanwhile, there continues to be a presumption that these awards are in some way the “official” NFL postseason prizes.  As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello has told us, they’re not.  The only official awards are Super Bowl MVP, Pro Bowl MVP, and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

That said, the NFL should have “official” awards, and the awards should be distributed at a banquet held in the days preceding the Super Bowl, and televised on ESPN or NFLN.  (But no one has asked our opinion on that or any other matter.  Which explains the ongoing financial and popular success of the sport.)

Until the league sets up its own postseason awards, folks will continue to believe that the flawed system utilized by the AP – in which a quarterback who throws for 5,069 passing yards can get no votes for MVP and 22 for offensive player of the year — represents the official, league-approved recognition of on-field excellence.   

Behind Brees, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tied for second place, with nine votes each.  Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers received six votes.  Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams pocketed two.  And Falcons running back Michael Turner and Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (really?) received one.

Curious ommissions include Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner (who received an MVP vote and threw for 754 more yards that Rivers), Titans running back Chris Johnson (who received an MVP vote), and Texans receiver Andre Johnson (who led the league in receptions and receiving yards).


  1. icase81, a Conference Champ, on 1/6/09 at 1:19 pm

    Yeah really Steve Smith. That little f–ker was everywhere when his team needed him. When they were down against the Falcons, he made the 45 yard catch to get them in FG range. He’s just made huge plays when they needed them all year long.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 2.4 / 5 with 5 rating(s)

  2. jimicos, a Division Champ, on 1/6/09 at 1:22 pm

    I’m in the choir. And you are in fact preaching to me.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 5 / 5 with 3 rating(s)

  3. 30PTBUCK, a Head Coach, on 1/6/09 at 1:22 pm

    Dear Florio
    Your math is wrong in the Heisman example it only adds up to 6/22nds
    Signed Viking fans who think they will win the NFC North for the next ten years

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 2.15 / 5 with 8 rating(s)

  4. empty13, a Hall of Famer, on 1/6/09 at 1:24 pm

    “It should have been me!”

    - Chris Johnson

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4 / 5 with 5 rating(s)

  5. Shalhoub66, a Cheerleader, on 1/6/09 at 1:24 pm

    Good he was lights out all year. when he play us (packers) he showed how good he really was to me

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 2.65 / 5 with 3 rating(s)

  6. NFLed, a Passionate Fan, on 1/6/09 at 1:27 pm

    These awards are a joke, Peyton not the offensive player of the year is ridiculous. I just wasted 10 seconds more than I should have on this awards issue just posting this lol.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 1.9 / 5 with 8 rating(s)

  7. BenjaminC.Klein, a Water Boy, on 1/6/09 at 1:34 pm

    egg nog? I think your underestimating the drug abuse by the writers who vote for AP awards….. Im thinking more along the lines of crack laced with angel dust

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4 / 5 with 6 rating(s)

  8. ball-hawk, a Passionate Fan, on 1/6/09 at 1:34 pm

    Brees was not the MVP because the league blows the Manning boys! Brees numbers were better than Manning, bottom line. If you take Brees from the Saints they suck, I believe Sorgi could navigate the Colts just fine with the talent they have.

    I am not a Ravens fan, but how do you diminish the impact of Ed Reed to that defense???

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3.4 / 5 with 7 rating(s)

  9. Real Deal 2431, a Cheerleader, on 1/6/09 at 1:41 pm

    if you take brees from the saints they suck. leave bress on the saints, oh wait they suck. i am not one to believe that the “best player on the best team” should win the award, but just as mentioned above, you can put up all the numbers you want and they will not mean a thing if your team is not significant. yes brees deserves team MVP and the fact that he did not receive one vote for league MVP is a joke, but he did not deserve to be the out right winner of MVP of the league. manning deserved whether or not you think the voting is messed up or rigged, etc.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4.8 / 5 with 5 rating(s)

  10. jmikeh, a Head Coach, on 1/6/09 at 1:54 pm

    The award is for Most VALUABLE Player, not Most OUTSTANDING Player. There is a difference.

    That said, it seems strange that Brees didn’t garner at least one MVP vote, all things considered. He is, after all, slowly having the pelt removed from his face. Playing at a high level through THAT would at least get him MY vote…

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3.35 / 5 with 3 rating(s)

  11. snowangel, a Cheerleader, on 1/6/09 at 2:01 pm

    Since these were not official NFL awards, is it possible that the AP was actually voting for Drew Brees as the MVP of the All-Waterloo Fantasy Football league?

    ‘Cause in that parallel universe, he WAS actually responsible for leading the “Jonestown Juicers” to a 14-1 A.W.F.F.L. Bowl-winning season. Thank you Drew. Thank you.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 2.65 / 5 with 3 rating(s)

  12. Rob Noxious, a Passionate Fan, on 1/6/09 at 2:10 pm

    Is Yoo-Hoo a new sponsor or what?

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4.25 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  13. brian_21, a Hall of Famer, on 1/6/09 at 2:11 pm

    Your railing on the respected AP is making no sense and is not picking up any steam. And it makes perfect sense that one can win an offensive player of the year award without being the MVP. Yes, without even one MVP vote. And what you put in quotations is actually not crap; it makes sense to include that as part of an MVP argument, in my eyes.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3.25 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  14. Smush Rodrigez, a Division Champ, on 1/6/09 at 2:14 pm

    Maybe he just throws too many interceptions…

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3 / 5 with 2 rating(s)

  15. jdbaker01, a Passionate Fan, on 1/6/09 at 2:20 pm

    Awards are a joke. These are some of the same guys who vote for the Hall of Fame and that is a joke too. How could Chad Pennington finish tied for #2 in the MVP voting and not make the Pro Bowl? He’s not good enough to make the Pro Bowl but he’s one of the top three players in the league this year? Ridiculous. I hope if the Associated Press accepts any bailout money from the gov’t that it will come with the condition that these awards will be done away with.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4 / 5 with 1 rating(s)

  16. Vox Veritas, a Hall of Famer, on 1/6/09 at 2:21 pm

    Here are some meaningful awards for ya.

    NFL Alumni Players of the Year


    • Quarterback–Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts)
    • Running Back–Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
    • Wide Receiver–Andre Johnson (Houston Texans)
    • Tight End–Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys)
    • Offensive Lineman–Alan Faneca (New York Jets)


    • Defensive Lineman–Albert Haynesworth (Tennessee Titans)
    • Pass Rusher–DeMarcus Ware (Dallas Cowboys)
    • Linebacker–James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers)
    • Defensive Back–Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens)


    • Special Teams Player–Leon Washington (New York Jets)


    Tony Sparano (Miami Dolphins)

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 2.35 / 5 with 6 rating(s)

  17. HornyVikesFan, a Cheerleader, on 1/6/09 at 2:23 pm

    30PTChump, your Vikings envy is showing though. How does that bitter pill taste?

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  18. me, a Head Coach, on 1/6/09 at 2:27 pm

    Pretty simple actually. On the road Brees blew and his team lost. At home he put up ridiculous stats. Good enough for O player, but an MVP has to consistently give his team a chance to win. Not blow games for them.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3.75 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  19. empty13, a Hall of Famer, on 1/6/09 at 2:36 pm

    a vox sighting!

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 5 / 5 with 2 rating(s)

  20. shaunypoo, a Division Champ, on 1/6/09 at 2:47 pm

    AP = about politics

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4 / 5 with 2 rating(s)

  21. brian_21, a Hall of Famer, on 1/6/09 at 2:48 pm

    But Vox, out of all of those contestants, who is your MVP?

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3.65 / 5 with 3 rating(s)

  22. RonO, a Head Coach, on 1/6/09 at 2:55 pm

    Florio you only just realized a poll run by a bunch of hack journo’s like yourself is all fekked up? Check out the HOF pile of do doo - ego trip by King, Z and others of the same ilk. After reading a couple King articles, I wonder why we even allow him to vote on city dog catcher.

    Asking King etc who’s the best at football is kinda like asking Hallmark the religious meaning of Christmas.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 5 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  23. SF Saints Fan, a , on 1/6/09 at 3:02 pm


    You might not like the distinction, but come on there is a difference between League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. The MVP is a player who helped his team win games…period. Someone who put up good stats, but who overall meant more to his team winning more than anything else. The Offensive Player of the Year, is an award that should go to the Offensive Player who helped his teams OFFENSE more than any other Offensive Player.

    Brees nearly broke one of the all time NFL records that many believed would never be broken, Dan Marino’s single season passing record. Brees was without a doubt the leagues best Offensive Player in 2008. He was just not in a position to be the MVP because the Saints lost too many games. Last time I checked Brees does not play corner back.

    I would have liked to have seen Brees play even better and help put the Saints into the playoffs, but it didn’t happen. This takes nothing away from the historic performance he had in 2008. If the last pass he threw in the Carolina game had been caught he would have broken Marino’s record. If he had led the Saits to the playoffs despite their lackluster defense, he would probably have been League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. If you would ask Brees I am sure he would rather still be playing and not be Offensive Player of the Year.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 4 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  24. BlackandGold, a Cheerleader, on 1/6/09 at 3:05 pm

    Right on, Florio. You are 100 percent right this time. Proud of you.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 2 / 5 with 4 rating(s)

  25. kellyb9, a NFL MVP, on 1/6/09 at 3:05 pm

    There’s always been this epic debate between value and stats. They’ve almost always gone the route of stats… except for this year. I’d like to see a little consistancy with voting. Peyton wasn’t the best quarterback this year. Brees had more yard. Rivers had a higher rating. But if we’re talking about value, there are a TON of players that are more valuable to their team. Drew Brees, Wes Welker, Adrian Peterson, Matt Ryan, Kurt Warner, … etc. Either pick value or stats…

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that voting is heavily based on what the talking heads are saying on television.

    (report as inappropriate)

    Rating: 3 / 5 with 2 rating(s)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.