That same simple mind halts the notion of Cassel actually winning the award with a hasty chuckle.
There are two trains of thought: 1) those that feel the Chiefs and the entire Midwest chunk of the country are slighted and will never receive the proper amount of respect other than being the quickest way to travel between Los Angeles and New York, and 2) those that simply believe Cassel isn’t and will never be (Chiefs’ fans included) the type of quarterback to lead any team through the postseason and into the Super Bowl—unwritten prerequisites for consideration of being the league’s MVP.
The fact of the matter is that the back of Cassel’s jersey doesn’t read Brady, Brees, Manning, Roethlisberger or Rodgers; Rodgers has sort of debunked the whole Midwest thing, but plays for one of the most storied franchises in pro sports history; therefore guilty by association.
It would take a near perfect season out of Cassel and the Chiefs for him to even enter the discussion, let alone to actually win the award.
But why can’t the Chiefs win the AFC West running away? They play in a conference with no clear-cut favorite, they have a favorable schedule, there is now continuity among the team and the coaching staff and they are healthy. And this team really wants to put last year in the rear-view mirror.
With a better supporting cast (wide receivers Jon Baldwin and Steve Breaston, tight end Kevin Boss, running back Peyton Hillis and a much improved offensive line, in addition to Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki and hopefully Dwayne Bowe) than he had in 2010, it isn’t a stretch to imagine Cassel surpassing his totals of 3,116 yards and 27 touchdowns either.
Both are definitely a possibility, but the odds are stacked against Cassel. If Chiefs’ fans can’t even get on board with the idea of him being a legitimate MVP candidate, how can they throw stones at the national media about being treated as the red-headed stepchild to the two coasts?
Expectations are high in Kansas City in 2012, and most of the accountability will fall on Cassel as to whether or not the Chiefs fall flat or begin to elbow their way back up the NFL hierarchy.
Forget about the whole Midwest quandary or that a Chief has never won the award. Brady, Brees, the Manning’s and Rodgers certainly don’t need a head start because of their names either.
Open your minds a little.
Quarterbacks win MVPs. Matt Cassel is a quarterback. Connect the dots.