It’s our second year of handing out postseason awards named for former NFL players who, for various reasons, deserve to have an award named after them, even if it’s a two-bit web site that’s doing it.
The first prize for the 2008 season (regular and post) goes to the best defensive lineman of the year.  And it’s named for former Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page.
Some basic information about Page appears below, as borrowed from our 2007 write-up on this same topic.
Alan Page was an undersized but overachieving defensive tackle in the days of three channels and computer the size of Winnebagos.  I was introduced to him by a book from the NFL’s “Punt Pass and Kick” library, a ’70s-era not-so-subtle attempt at indoctrinating a generation of America’s youth.
And it worked.
On the cover of Gamebreakers of the NFL was a picture of Page with that old-time spiderweb facemask riding some poor sap from the 49ers to the ground.  Thirty-six years later, I’ve still got the thing.
Page was a dominant presence in the NFL in the years just before and just after the merger, anchoring the Purple People Eaters and winning the league’s MVP award in 1971.
He earned a law degree while playing for the Vikings, and became a practicing attorney after his football career ended in 1981.  Eleven years later, Page was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court, where he has served with distinction ever since.
Page remains the best defensive tackle we’ve ever seen, and for his on-field exploits and post-football success we name the annual award given to one of the league’s defensive linemen after him.
This year’s winner also plays for the Vikings, receiving more than 40 percent of PFT Planet polling among a field of six candidates.
But we give the award to Jared Allen with some reluctance.  He has had a checkered past, with multiple DUI offenses during his time in the NFL.  But he has been clear for a couple of years now.
We also have concerns about some of his on-field tactics.  So does the league, as evidenced by the multiple fines imposed against him.
But Allen plays the game with intensity and passion.  Against the Lions, he thought he had suffered a torn ACL on a low hit from Gosder Cherilus.  After chasing Cherilus around on one leg, Allen continued to play.
The ultimate diagnosis was a sprained MCL.  But Allen didn’t miss a start.
Earlier in the year, Allen suffered a separated shoulder that left his arm hanging like a big salami from the ceiling of a deli.  But he continued to play.  And he didn’t miss a start.
In fact, he started every game of the year, registering 14.5 sacks and two safeties.
We’ve criticized him at times, made fun of him at others.  But he strikes us as one of the few guys who would play the game the same way even if he wasn’t being paid a dime.
So congratulations, Mr. Allen.  Our only hope is that you continue to avoid the deadly combination of cocktails and car keys– and that you watch the low hits on the quarterbacks’ knees.

16 responses to “PFT HEROES 2008: THE ALAN PAGE AWARD

  1. wow. you dont let haynesworth be in the running because of the forehead incident a few years ago… Allen tried to take out every single qb he faced. Poor form mr. florio.

  2. A rare hiatus from the Media Elite Anti-Vikings Bias. Good choice and thank you for letting the voting public have a big say.

  3. He deserves it. He’s arguably the most dominant defensive end in the game right now, and it’s not just his pass rushing ability. He’s a complete defensive player — scratch that, a football player–, a hard worker, a game changer, and he has a great personality. Jared Allen is a superstar.
    OK I’ll get off his dick now. But seriously, he deserves it.

  4. His passion may lead him into trouble with the low hits, but I think it’s safe to say that his intent is to sack the Quarterback, not to hurt them. Yes, as a Vikes fan, I would much rather see him keep those hits higher. But let’s face it. In this day and age, when we all but put dresses on QBs (okay, I just said that for the sake of the old time players 🙂 ) Jared Allen goes all out every play. I think the stats speak for themselves. 14.5 sacks. **Two Safeties**.

  5. Florio, you’re a tool.
    Way to completely ignore the fact that he was directly responsible for knocking Matt Schaub out of several games this season, which of course, in turn, lead to the Rosencopter debacle among other things.
    Screw Jared Allen.

  6. Of course Jared Allen is the winner. Nobody comes close to deserving the award. All the whining Fudgepacker fans can go cry in their pillows. The best man won.

  7. This is hypocritical Florio. You refuse to even consider Haynesworth for a several years old incident, yet you reward this guy who illegally goes after QB’s knees after the whistle? Disgraceful. Matt Schaub surely would rate your choice a 1 out of 5.

  8. Its really a shame…..the NFL and its QB protection rules has completely pussified an entire generation of fans.

  9. We are really comparing Haynseworth’s clearly intentional head stomping to Allen’s .5 seconds after the whistly fall into Schaub’s knee even though his momentum was already taking him there? Have any of the guys trying to make this comparison seen replays or are you just taking Allen-hating Florio’s word for it? Allen plays the game the right way and is the most dominant player. To leave him off a list of best DL’s would be asenine.

  10. “Allen tried to take out every single qb he faced. Poor form mr. florio. ” Guys like Mr. Rodgers crack me the hell up. I’m sure you were closely watching EVERY single Vikings game this year, Rodge.
    He’s the best DE in the league, hands down. I’m sorry that Allen’s hit on Shaubb at the whistle bothers you types so much but perhaps Football isn’t the sport for you. I’m sure there are plenty of websites devoted to figure skating that you could head on over to instead of this one.
    And when you do head over there, don’t let the door hit your vagina on the way out.

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