In week 11 of the NFL, it's probably a bit early to be speaking of such things like MVP, but I want to get out something that I've been mulling over.
Every season, quarterbacks are saddled with a lot of the praise and blame for their teams successes and failures: younger signal callers are scrutinized by the media for "positive improvement" and "maturation," while older, more seasoned QBs are exposed to the expectations that will make or break their legacies (and the very, very old get their own critiques, but I won't speak on Favre again).
All of it comes down to the quarterback being, in many cases, the most important player on a given roster; likewise, every season the most valuable player conversation features at least a few of the guys in the vaunted position. This year is no different.
But before this turns into one of those opinion pieces where people with last names like Manning, Brady, and Rivers are brought up (to take nothing away from their impressive years), let me say that my vote (which is to say my imaginary ballot) is going to be cast for one Michael Vick.
You heard me. And since the burden is on me to prove to you that I'm right, I'll sidestep the obvious appeals like his pristine passer rating (I don't care if he's thrown only a small few, most of his throws are low percentage passes) and running-back-esque rushing numbers.
You can look at any fantasy bracket and see those details plainly enough, and the Michael Vick You Tube extravaganza can satisfy your need for video footage.
The MVP is the guy you want on your team when your back is against the wall, the final quarter is ticking to zero and the opponents, the refs, the fans, even the weather is against you. He's the guy you get behind and follow to victory, and every quarterback has the stat on his record about how many times he's pulled such a feat off.
And I think it ought to count for something that Vick has done so not just in the game of football, but also in the game of life. For every "problem player" and "distraction" and "diva" that could never "get his act together" and "play to his potential," finally there is someone who did something wrong, payed the price, and picked himself back up.
Football finally has a poster boy for positive change. And he isn't the obscure wild child on special teams that only the announcer knows about; he's the quarterback, the guy the cameras follow even when he isn't on the field, isn't even in uniform.
He's the guy everyone in the younger generation is looking up to; and while it would be nice to tell the lie that perfection is the ideal, I think it's more realistic to be an example of how to get back up after we fall.
And I think that type of thing is valuable, most valuable even.