Storyline is MVP
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Leave aside all those pesky stats we're supposed to care about when deciding the NFL's MVP and the choice is clear. Michael Vick might be a contender by the numbers but when it comes to narrative he's the prohibitive favorite.
If sport needs storylines there are none more compelling (or more comprehensive) than Vick's 2010 season. It's got redemption, forgiveness and The American Dream with a made for TV ending we can't stop talking about (unless he flounders). From Philadelphia to Los Angeles debates are raging in the wake of his MNF massacre in Landover. Journalists are frothing, PETA's rabid, the NFL is lock-jawed but everyone has an opinion.
And why shouldn't we? Eighteen months ago Michael Vick was making license plates in Leavenworth. Now he's breaking records on national TV. Sure, Phillip Rivers has better numbers, sure Tom Brady has better hair, but do they make us wonder about the human capacity to change and to forgive? Vick's revival reads like Ebenezer Scrooge 2.0 rising from the ashes to throw a Hail Mary, with the bases loaded, in triple overtime.
The only problem? We're not voting for a People's Choice Award, or Time Person of the Year. This the NFL's Most Valuable Player Award -- storyline shouldn't matter. If it did, players would spend their time worrying about their images instead of their work on the field. They'd hire public relations teams to market them as compelling products perhaps to the detriment of their own teams. The media would start paying attention to their private lives and not their professional duties. Before you know it, entertainment might start coming before sports, and that's not what the NFL is about.
November 18, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
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