Who's the Real Bad Guy?

by Stephen Nover

The year was 1942. Ted Williams won the American League Triple Crown that season. He also led the league in runs, walks, slugging percentage and on base percentage.

Obviously Williams was the unanimous choice for Most Valuable Player, right? Nope. He didn't even win the award! It went to Joe Gordon. Williams hit twice as many homers as Gordon, drove in 44 more runs and batted 33 points higher than Gordon. 

But certain biased voters screwed Williams because they didn't like him personally. That's just plain wrong. I bring this up because it could happen to Aaron Rodgers this season when it comes to NFL MVP voting. 

This isn't a no-brainer like it was in baseball for Williams. Rodgers isn't head-and-shoulders above other worthy candidates Tom Brady, Jonathan Taylor and Cooper Kupp. Brady leads the NFL in passing yards and TD throws. Taylor leads the league in rushing. He's 529 rushing yards ahead of No. 2 Joe Mixon. Kupp is having a record pass-catching season well ahead in receptions, receiving yards and TD's. 

Rodgers has a 35-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Yet Rodgers' strongest qualifications are related to the team. Green Bay is 13-2 in games he has played. Thanks to Rodgers, Green Bay finished as the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC and has the best record in football. No player is more important to his team than Rodgers is to the Packers. 

That should make Rodgers the MVP favorite. Not according to Hub Arkush, though.  Arkush said he won't vote for Rodgers because Rodgers is a horrible person for misleading people about his vaccination status. 

This is what Arkush said about Rodgers during a radio interview with a Chicago radio station: ''I just think that the way he's carried himself is inappropriate. I think he's a bad guy, and I don't think a bad guy can be the most valuable guy at the same time.'' 

Bad guy? You'd think Arkush was talking about Antonio Brown, or Henry Ruggs. Rodgers is complicated. But a bad guy? Even if Rodgers were that, it isn't a reason to disqualify him for MVP consideration. 

I think Arkush is a bad guy for blackballing someone out of personal feelings when he has an obligation and voting honor to act responsibly and objectively. 

Arkush is a long-time Chicago NFL fixture, who has done writing and announcing for the Bears. Perhaps he's jealous that the only really good quarterbacks the Bears have had during their 100 years in the NFL were Jim McMahon and Sid Luckman. 


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