Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Award No One Ever Wants To Win

Today, Michael Vick was given the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year, seeing how Chad Pennington wasn't healthy. And it's striking that Vick's comeback wasn't from injury, like the last six years, but from something quite, well, different.

Since no one has ever won this thing after doing time. (Yes, Jamal Lewis never won it.) And it never happens if Kevin Kolb doesn't go down against the Packers in Week 1, assuming that Kolb doesn't lose the job from performance issues later in the year. (And for the record, considering how the laundry really seemed to be looking towards a rebuilding year this season, I don't think Kolb gets yanked for performance unless he turned it over 2X a game, or lost all accuracy. Not likely.)

There was, of course, no other super-prominent candidate for the award, and no real surprise that Vick took it down. E.J. Henderson was second, followed by Wes Welker, Brian Urlacher, Matt Cassel, Troy Polamalu, Leon Washington and LeGarrette Blount, and what Matt Cassel was coming back from, I have no idea. Perhaps the pain of being Matt Cassel.

Who gets it next year? Maybe Ryan Grant, assuming he can come back, put up numbers, and keep James Starks from owning his job. Maybe Anthony Gonzalez, assuming that guy can ever stay in the lineup for more than a week at a time, and Pennington is always a possibility. I wouldn't put it past Donovan McNabb or Albert Haynesworth, assuming either man can get out of Washington and go back to being their old useful selves.

But in all likelihood, it will go to a skill position player with easily understood numbers, owned by a majority of winning fantasy leaguers, who have given the sports media an easy story to write. Since coming back from injury to punt, block or tackle doesn't seem to be possible, really...

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