Hub Arkush, one of only 50 people who hold ballots for the annual Associated Press NFL awards, admitted on Tuesday that he won’t vote for Aaron Rodgers for MVP, not because of Rodgers’s performance but because of personal considerations. It remains to be seen whether the AP will strip Arkush of his vote; the annual voting process begins next week.
The NFL has a role in this, too. Roughly a decade ago, the league made the AP awards the official basis for the NFL Honors ceremony, a made-for-TV event that amplifies the significance of these awards. The league, however, has nothing to say about Arkush’s admission that he won’t vote for Rodgers due to irrelevant factors.
“This is one of the annual Associated Press awards,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email. “It is announced during the NFL Honors show but the league does not select the voters or oversee any element of the process so it’s not appropriate for us to comment.”
While the league shouldn’t be micromanaging the process, it’s fair and appropriate for the league to generally desire that the voting will be handled responsibly and fairly. Too much is riding on these awards, which include MVP, comeback player of the year, offensive and defensive player of the year, offensive and defensive rookie of the year, and coach of the year. The 50 AP voters also determine the All-Pro team.
The process has plenty of flaws. Many of the awards aren’t defined. What does comeback player mean? What does it mean to be “most valuable”?
Also, if the AP is going to use only 50 votes (with one vote only per award, not a first-, second-, and third-place option), the list needs to consist of the 50 people best suited to make the assessments, without regard to business or political realities that necessarily corrupt the process. I’ve seen the list. Not everyone on the list should be on the list.
Starting with the guy who has said the quiet thing out loud, that he won’t be voting for the true MVP out of spite.