For many fans, the NFL season ends when their teams are eliminated from playoff contention, and they are forced to find other things to devote their passion to.
Some look forward to the Pro Bowl—that is, if any of their favorite players were even invited. Some choose to cheer wholeheartedly against the teams they despise and root for all the postseason feel-good stories.
However, some fans take great pride when a player from their favorite franchise is gifted with an individual award. It can even become a sign of hope no matter how poorly the season turned out, especially in the case of the Rookie of the Year.
In 2010, Ndamukong Suh took home the Defensive Player of the Year award as the Detroit Lions won four in a row to end the season. The downtrodden franchise is now looking forward to the upcoming season.
A cornerback hasn't won the award since Charles Woodson. Suh broke the streak of linebackers who had hoarded the prize, so will another LB grab it in 2011, or will a defensive linemen steal the show?