Brian Cushing lost 19 votes in the Associated Press defensive rookie of the year do-over, but he didn’t lose the award. Here’s a complete breakdown of the voting.
In the end, many of the votes for Cushing were votes against the re-vote process.
Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who is president of the Pro Football Writers of America, had a telling quote: “If I had known in January when we initially voted that Brian Cushing
had tested positive for a banned substance, I might not have voted for
him,” Williams said. “However, Cushing won
the award in January, and I don’t feel like we should revise history. I
am concerned about the precedent.”
Our old PFT colleague Tom Curran agreed with the sentiment and kept his vote for Cushing: “You can’t have a re-vote every time something doesn’t go the way you want it to,” he said over the phone.
“The AP didn’t mess up. Cushing did,” Curran said. “He won’t get much enjoyment from looking up at his mantle and seeing the trophy
commemorating his season. It will mock him. But the AP didn’t have to make a
mockery of its awards process by giving everyone a mulligan.“
One writer, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, felt strongly enough about this principle to change his vote from Jairus Byrd to Cushing. Bouchette, who I greatly respect, wrote that he didn’t agree with the re-vote. [Editor's note: I'll refrain from going berserk on Bouchette because I respect him and like him. However, if Cushing had ended up winning the award by only one vote, I would have gone berserk.]
And finally, a few notes that are too bizarre not to include:
1. Chris Berman has a vote. Really? [Editor's note: Dear Mr. Berman, please direct any profanity-laced retorts to Gregg "Three-G" Rosenthal.]
2. Poor Brian Orakpo lost two voters, who changed their mind and chose other non-Cushing defenders. Strange.
3. Howie Long was “not available.” Taping a truck commercial, perhaps?