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Are Individual Awards in Football Stupid?

Discussion in 'Sports Board' started by Dr. Rob, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Dr. Rob

    Dr. Rob
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    I don't see a major sport that is more team-oriented than football. While one player can make a significant impact, the game is devised in such a way that team performance far outweighs individual effort. A pitcher can single-handedly win (or at least force a tie) a baseball game, and one basketball player can take complete command on the court. You just don't see that in the same way with football. Granted, some players can clearly thrive in both the NFL and NCAA in multiple systems or on multiple teams, but there are much stricter limits as to what a QB can do with a horrible offensive line/bad receivers/no running or what a DB can achieve with no pass rush (which allows the QB to stand in the pocket all day). Yet, there is a strong emphasis placed on individual awards. The Heisman Trophy (possibly the most laughable award in all of sports), NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, etc., all get their fair share of media coverage and players are labeled as "the best" even if they've never been tested in multiple systems.

    FOCUS: Are individual awards in football pointless (or at least should their significance be diluted)? Are even the most gifted players at the mercy of the 10 other guys around him? What and who are the exceptions, if any?
     
  2. Kampf Trinker

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    There are, and they also prove that one guy can't win it all by himself. Barry Sanders is a prime example of this. The guy put up huge numbers on an absolutely horrible team. It's kind of funny that while he has some of the best stats of any running back he also ran for the most negative yardage in NFL history. That just shows how desperately he had to run to get positive yardage. Personally, I think he was the best player of all time, and it's a damn shame he spent his entire career on the lions. You could have put that guy behind any offensive line and he would still find a way to shred defenses.

    I don't think individual awards are pointless. I feel that it's worthwhile to acknowledge the players who are performing the best, even if we can't accurately measure how much they alone contributed to their teams. People forget that Peyton Manning has spent most of his career throwing to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, but if you replaced him with Derek Anderson the colts would not be making the playoffs every year.

    The fact that football is more team oriented than other sports is one the reasons it's my favorite. There's also a bit less dumb luck because lets face it, on a pitch to pitch basis there is a lot of luck involved with whether or not the batter is going to connect, get a base hit, or a home run. The NBA is too individual oriented, has way too much scoring, and like baseball has too many games for a single season. Once you get beyond 40 it starts to get stupid. When you can lose 5 in a row and it doesn't even fucking matter the games are starting to lose their luster.
     
  3. Dr. Rob

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    Good points, although one inherent problem with the concept of an MVP is that every player is eligible to win it. In football, this is clearly not the case. I don't believe a purely defensive player has ever won a Heisman and, if mistaken, it's beyond rare. The MVP for football really should be the best QB/WR/RB, because lineman on either side of the ball have no chance. I understand they have a Defensive MVP, but that's not THE award of choice, and even that award often can't get to worthy players.
     
  4. Kampf Trinker

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    The mvp really is about the best QB/RB and occasionally a WR. I can see why someone on the o-line can't win it because it doesn't matter how long you hold your block if the rest of the unit is weak. You'd really have to give it to the whole unit or none at all. Plus if the o-line really is that good you'll have a QB or RB scoring and snagging all the credit. Still, I believe Lawrence Taylor managed to win an MVP, and funny enough, a kicker for the redskins did as well (I think he kicked like 11 game winning field goals or something ridiculous like that). As for the Heisman, the only time I remember a defensive player winning it was Woodson for the wolverines. Peyton Manning finished runner up so he had some worthy competition. It's a bit sad though because most years, for both of these awards, it's really the 'who scored the most touchdowns' award.
     
  5. Dr. Rob

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    Agreed. That's part of the problem, though. The O-line could, at least in theory, be the "MVP," but indeed the skills player will snag the credit. I can't recall if Emmit Smith won an MVP, but I think most agree that he had an historical offensive line to run behind most of his career (didn't they measure that he got 2 extra yards just from the OL push or something like that one year?). LT I can totally get behind, because he essentially changed the LB position forever. Woodson only won because he was a dual threat, though. He wouldn't have won strictly for defense.

    I guess I could get more behind an individual award for football if they called it what it really is. To wit:

    Heisman: Best Gawdy Numbers by an Offensive Skills Player on a Very Good Team
     
  6. KIMaster

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    Do you really need to talk shit about a sport you understand so little about (basketball)?

    The fact that teams can afford to lose more has to do with the number of games (82 in regular season basketball versus 16 in football), and that has everything to do with injury and recovery. Anyways, to answer the focus, there are 55+ guys on a football team, versus 12 on a basketball squad, so yes, individual impact is lessened. But there are players who still have a gigantic positive impact on their team, and most of those guys happen to be quarterbacks.
     
  7. Kampf Trinker

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    Well, aren't you fucking insightful? Thank you for reiterating the points in my post.
     
  8. Mike Ness

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    I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Yes football is a team sport, but if the MVP award is stupid how can removing ONE player have such a profound impact on a team. Take Troy Polamolu out of the Steelers lineup and the defense is obviously and statistically weaker. Take Peyton Manning off the Colts offense and they might as well not even go out on the field.

    Even when the Eagles had no DeSean Jackson it was obviously very damaging to the club. When a defense has to design an entire scheme for ONE player I would say that player is quite valuable wouldn't you?

    The problem that arises is that the MVP becomes a battle of statistics. I'm not knocking Tom Brady I think he is a phenomenal player, I do think that the Pats would have a much better chance at winning than the Eagles would without Mike Vick. I always kind of subscribed to the theory of what would happen to a team if a specific player was removed from the line-up.

    The issue with the NFL is that either too much credit is given of too much fault laid to blame on the quarterback position. This player touches the ball more than any other player on the team so they can clearly make or break you but we have seen numerous times the team with the inferior QB still win.

    I don't think the awards are stupid, they may be skewed but not stupid.

    The NBA obviously needs the award. I have never seen one player been able to impact an outcome of a game like I have with basketball. Obviously the better team can still prosper but anyone who watched Michael Jordan play saw the definition on an MVP. The Bulls would not have won without him, he would single handedly take over games and dominate.
     
  9. Nettdata

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    Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but how are MVP's determined?

    I grew up playing hockey and rugby and it was voted on by the players on the team. Is it the same with the NFL/ect, or are there other influences, like the press, etc?
     
  10. Kampf Trinker

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    In the nfl the award is given by the AP (associated press). Basically 50 sports reporters vote and the player with the most votes win the award. If there's a tie the award is shared between those players. Pretty simple.
     
  11. KIMaster

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    Bullshit. The point I was making is that your "there's too much scoring in basketball!" argument is moronic and unrelated to your overall conclusion, and saying "it's too individual oriented" is either extreme personal preference (American football is one of the least individual oriented sports out there) or just plain stupid. (Teamwork matters a bunch in basketball too, in case you didn't know)

    In the NBA, it's voted on by select members of the press. Honestly, it's a horrible system that rewards storylines and/or big market players more than anything, but I'm not sure what the alternative is. It used to be decided by the players, which was also a poor system, and the only real alternative appears to be the coaches, which comes with its own set of problems.
     
  12. Kampf Trinker

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    Is there some reason you think I give a fuck if it's related to my overall conclusion? I was stating why I prefer football over other sports, that being one of the reasons. Is that difficult to understand, or do you just have a hard on for e-raging like you do in every other thread? Basketball is much more indivual oriented compared to football, which you pretty much concede right away so I have no idea what point you're trying to make there. Of course teamwork still matters, just less than in football. Sorry to go all 'EXTREME PERSONAL PERFERENCE' on you. I know how much you hate that.

    I know you like to lay waste to every thread with these stupid arguments, but I'm not really interested in letting you ruin another so I'm going to drop this here.
     
  13. Maltob14

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    Gentlemen...
     
  14. KIMaster

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    Seems like you're the one getting his panties all in a knot here, not me. And by the way, it's called a "message board" precisely because you can't continually post stupid, off-topic nonsense and have everyone just ignore/gloss over it. (Weren't we supposed to be discussing football?)

    And it's especially hilarious coming from you, considering you have more running e-arguments in the NFL topic than even myself about basketball or movies.

    Focus-

    There are statistics whose purpose it is to measure how many wins a player brings to his team, whether that be in the NFL, NBA, or any other purpose. I don't believe they're completely optimal, but it's an interesting metric to consider for this discussion.

    Without digging out all the articles and results, I think that in football, the quarterback actually has as much as/more influence than any basketball superstar, despite how many more guys participate in a football match. That's simply how important the position is.
     
  15. bigtom0404

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    I am sorry I have to dispute this, look at the stats from the season he won his Heisman, 1997, he averaged 1 reception a game for a total of 12 receptions for 208 yards on the season. Now compare that to Desmond Howard who won in 1991, who had 62 total receptions for an average of 15 yards a catch for a total of 985 yards on the season. Yes Woodson had good punt return stats but punt returns are statistically considered defensive. There is no way you can say he didn't win the award for primarily defense and wouldnt have won it if he didn't play wr also.
     
  16. Dr. Rob

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    Fuck, I've been interchanging Desmond Howard and Woodson throughout this entire thread. My apologies for that.