The AP won’t be stripping Hub Arkush of his vote in the organization’s annual NFL awards, even though Arkush admitted that he won’t vote for Rodgers for MVP because he’s the “biggest jerk in the league,” along with other observations and factors unrelated to on-field or in-season performance.
“We’re not gonna throw out his ballot,” Barry Wilner of the AP told the Chicago Sun-Times. Wilner has overseen the voting process for the organization’s NFL awards for roughly three decades, choosing who does and doesn’t get votes. More than a decade ago, the AP selections became the official NFL awards for MVP, coach of the year, offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year, comeback player of the year, offensive rookie of the year, and defensive rookie of the year.
“For MVP, because the word ‘valuable’ is judgmental, it would be unfair and unwise for us to set any parameters for that award,” Wilner said. “We can’t tell people how to think about what they consider most valuable.”
While you can’t tell them how to think, you can ensure that none of the 50 ballots will go to people who would define “valuable” based on personal biases and/or irrelevant factors, such as offseason behavior (yes, that was one of the reasons Arkush gave). Indeed, that fact that the AP won’t invade the judgment of the voters makes the selection of the right voters even more critical, and it makes imperative the organization’s willingness to disqualify voters who, through their own stunning candor, have necessarily disqualified themselves.
The AP apparently won’t be doing that. We sent Wilner an email last night asking that question and requesting an explanation if, as it appears, Arkush will cast his ballot next week. Wilner didn’t give us any answers, explaining instead that he forwarded our inquiry to “AP management.”
We’re still waiting for a response.