When reading our blurb on the NFL MVP award last night, I did a double take. But the numbers listed were accurate, even though they point to a weird sort of King Solomonesque compromise in which multiple voters obviously engaged.
With Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes winning the MVP award over Saints quarterback Drew Brees by a vote of 41-9 but with Mahomes previously becoming the All-Pro quarterback over Brees by a vote of 45-5, at least four voters who picked Mahomes over Brees as the best quarterback in the league picked Brees over Mahomes as the MVP.
In past years, the compromise has happened with some voters supporting one quarterback as MVP and the other as offensive player of the year. This year, at least four voters who thought that Mahomes was the best quarterback thought Brees was the MVP. (It could have been more than four, if some of the people who voted for Mahomes as MVP had voted for Brees as the best quarterback.)
Given that the same 50 voters for the All-Pro team vote for the MVP and given that all votes are due within three days after the end of the regular season, these selections are as apples-to-apples as they can be. Four of the 50 voters on the AP panel actually believed Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league, and that Brees is nevertheless the MVP.
Maybe they’ll identify who they are and explain their reasoning. Whatever the explanation, it likely won’t be an easy one to make. And it could be even harder to understand.