Being the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for a professional league means a lot to whoever receives the reward. To them, it means that they were perceived as the leagues’ most valuable player, but what exactly does being the MVP mean to those who vote on it?
Does it mean that you were the best player on the best team? Does it mean that you did the most and were the of the most value for your specific team? Or does it mean that regardless of how your team performed, you were the best player in the league all around?
Due to the fact that the National Football League (NFL) MVP talks are the most relevant in terms of time right now, I will use the NFL as an example. However, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have the same question marks as it pertains to what the reward of MVP really means.
The first suggestion is that maybe MVP means that you are the best player on the league’s best team. If you are on the best team and you are that team’s best player, logic says you must have had an outstanding year.
This would probably highlight Tom Brady many years, maybe Antonio Brown, Carson Wentz this year before his injury.
If MVP is the second model of you were the most valuable to your team, this could still mean some of those players, but it could also mean those players who, without them, their team would have seen none of the success they did, even if that success was somewhat limited.
For this category, you would see Russel Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, or Todd Gurley. Without these players (as you saw for the Packers this year) their respective teams would not be nearly as competitive as they are with them.
After looking into it, the third scenario seems the most unlikely, but still an option. That is if a horrible team had one player that had an amazing season. Imagine this year on the 0-16 Browns if DeShone Kizer had Wentz-like numbers.
Now, the reason that is unlikely is that if Kizer had numbers that compared to Wentz’ season, the Browns probably wouldn’t have been 0-16. Switching over to baseball, however, this did happen this year where Joey Votto had an outstanding season but was hidden on the 68-94 Cincinnati Reds.
Back to the NFL voting, it seems that every year the MVP has been the star player on a successful, usually a playoff caliber team. MVP voting is interesting to me, because like other things in sports, it seems that there are no particular rules or guidelines voters are using to choose an MVP.
Are they looking for that winning record first and then whoever is good on that team? Are voters looking at whoever is leading in certain statistical columns and subsequently that person's team is doing well?
This year there has not been one standout person to deserve MVP for the NFL that has stayed healthy. I really thought it would be Carson Wentz, and then he went down. I thought it could be Russel Wilson, but then he had two bad weeks against the Rams and Cowboys and the Seahawks didn’t make the playoffs. I thought Antonio Brown was an option, but then he got hurt.To me, Todd Gurley should be considered for the MVP race because he had an amazing year, his team had a great record and made the playoffs, and without him, I don’t think Jared Goff and the Rams would have been in the same place.