Michael Oher Slapped in the Face by NFL Award Voters

James WilliamsonSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2010

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Michael Oher #74 of the Baltimore Ravens defends against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 34-3. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

It is simply an injustice.

I would think that after years of John Madden on Sunday Night Football praising offensive linemen, the sportswriters and award voters would learn to give consideration to offensive linemen when it comes to prestigious awards.

Just recently, Percy Harvin wasΒ given the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for his contributions to the Minnesota Vikings as a wide receiver and kick returner.

Yet if one examines the statistics, they would see that this player's accomplishments throughout the season do not eclipse what Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher has done throughout the season.

Harvin had 60 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns, 15 rushing attempts for 135 yards and no scores, and 42 kick returns for 1,156 yards and a pair of scores.

So, the Offensive Rookie of the Year is a slot receiver with a legendary quarterback named Brett Favre throwing him accurate tight spirals.

Hmm...I'm sorry, but I find the Offensive Rookie of the Year result offensive.

No disrespect to Harvin, but did he really earn this award, or was this just a weak rookie class?

All three of the rookie quarterbacks had a combined total of 58 interceptions between them. Michael Crabtree waited until five games were done before he finally signed with the 49ers and still caught 48 balls for 625 yards and two scores.

Not one of the rookie running backs had over a thousand yards rushing. Knowshon Moreno of the Broncos came closest with 947 yards.

I think the voters just picked Harvin because he was on a team that had a first round bye in the NFC playoffs, and they overlooked the true winner, which is Michael Oher.

Everyone knows the story of Oher, who was featured in the movie The Blind Side, and when I first saw him on that line, I was amazed.

I still cannot figure out why he was not selected to the Pro Bowl this year. Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote that Oher was his midseason pick for All-Pro.

He shut down giant pass rushers like Dwight Freeney and Jared Allen while allowing only one sack between the two of them.

In 2008, the Raven were ranked 11th in scoring offense, and in 2009 they are ranked ninth in scoring offense. The passing offense in yards went up from 28th in 2008 to 18th in 2009.

While the Ravens were fourth in rushing yards last year, they were ranked fifth in total rushing touchdowns. They are ranked fifth in rushing yards this year but first in rushing touchdowns.

The Ravens can definitely credit Oher's productivity at both right and left tackle (he played left tackle for a few games when Jared Gaither was hurt) as a reason for the large increase in offensive production.

The voters ought to be ashamed of themselves. Harvin is not even a starter for the Minnesota Vikings, while Oher has missed maybe one snap in the entire season.

Why is it that only quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers get the Offensive Rookie of the Year award? Offensive linemen are more important to winning games than a flashy running back or a quarterback with a rifle for an arm.

Without offensive linemen, there is no protection from pass rushers and no holes for the running back to exploit.

Oher has done both those things, while Harvin hasn't had a start.

Oher deserved that award. I think the voters need to claim temporary insanity and take it away from Harvin, because I don't see any argument that can make him more of an impact player than Michael Oher.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.