After inexplicably picking Matt Ryan for Rookie of the Year over the likes of Matt Forte and Chris Johnson, the NFL has done it again, voting Peyton Manning MVP. It wasn't even close: Manning got 32 of 50 possible votes. I haven't seen a travesty like this since... well, since Dustin Pedroia.
Look, Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, but MVP? Really? How about Kurt Warner, who managed one measly vote? The Cardinals sucked until this year, and while they did fall apart toward the end, Warner did lead them to their first playoff birth since 1988 and their first division title since 1975. Oh, and he put up better stats than Manning. Not that it's important or anything, right?
How about Chad Pennington, he came to the Dolphins and turned them from a 1-15 embarrassment to an 11-5 division champion? Need I mention that he had the second-best passer rating in the league (next to Philip Rivers), with Manning in fifth?
Pennington and Warner both had a higher completion percentage and passer rating than Manning, and Warner threw for more touchdowns while Pennington had fewer picks. They both also had more yards-per-attempt than Manning, who finished 13th in that category. Oh, and I know I've mentioned this already, but both Pennington and Warner took their teams from the basement to the top. But that was only good for one vote each, while Manning walked away with 32.
I may as well mention Drew Brees, who led the league (by far) in yardage, tied for the league lead in touchdowns (with his replacement, Rivers), and had a better passer rating and YPA than Manning. He didn't lead his team to a division title, but he still had a better year. Not that anybody noticed—and I mean that. No one voted for him.
Speaking of Rivers, the guy led the league in passer rating by a significant margin, tied Brees for that touchdown title, led the league in YPA and touchdown percentage, and had one fewer interception than Manning. And while his division was weak, Rivers did lead his team to the top of it, and you know they could not possibly have done that without him. He's an extremely viable candidate, yet he received merely two votes.
Of these four players, three of them definitely deserved the award more than Manning, and the fourth (Brees) could arguably be ranked ahead of him as well. Manning probably won the award due to name power alone, the same reason why Brett Favre found his way into the Pro Bowl. That is absolutely pathetic.
And 32 votes? Seriously? If he'd won by a slim margin, it would not be excusable, but somewhat comprehensible. But a landslide? How does this happen?