TAMPA -- Drew Brees was walking through the Super Bowl Media Center, holding an odd-shaped football trophy that, if you looked close enough read, "FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year." The only thing more absurd than awarding a trophy for an "air" and "ground" player of the year is awarding any "Player of the Year" trophy to Brees.
Now I understand Brees, who was also named the AP Offensive Player of the Year, passed for over 5,000 yards and 34 touchdowns this season. But I have a hard time awarding the quarterback of an 8-8 team anything more than a pat on the back for an amazing individual season in the most team-oriented sport. Brees' numbers are certainly gaudy but when you're airing it out on the other end of a loss and passing for nearly 800 yards in the last two meaningless games of the season, should anyone really care?
I wouldn't normally hold the Heisman Trophy up as an example for anything more than an overhyped popularity contest, but it would be nice if great players on great teams were honored for these awards instead of outstanding players on average teams.
And it's not just the Heisman. Do you think if Chris Bosh led the league in scoring and rebounding for a Raptors team that went 41-41 and missed the playoffs that he would be named the NBA MVP over Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, whose teams are competing for the best record in the league? Not a chance. Player of the Year and MVP awards might be individual honors -- but as long as they're going to a leader of a team. His team's record should be taken into account just as much as his personal statistics.
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