Tag Archives: Lawrence Taylor

NFL16 Cherry Picks W17: MVP Field Is Fat But Houseman Meter Says Brady Ain’t In It

27 Dec

Even as New England Patriots starry signal-caller Tom Brady, on a brilliant but semi-season (12g), may win the MVP on the anti-Goodell vote, a group not dissimilar to that which decided Election 2016, Brady nevertheless must be ineligible, opening the door to the widest field of candidates in years, winner who won’t be clear until the regular season is in the books. With Falcons’ Matt Ryan frontrunner entering final Week 17, its match-ups bearing on this rank, player and to a smaller degree team performance will decide the winner, making the baker’s dozen below as tight a pack as a Friday afternoon subway.

Top contenders for NFL 2016 MVP:

1. Matt Ryan
2. David Johnson
3. Landon Collins
4. Dak Prescott
5. Ezekiel Elliott
6. Alec Ogletree
9. Kwon Alexander
10. Le’Veon Bell
11. Aaron Rodgers
12. Bobby Wagner
13. Justin Tucker

— — —

The football MVP might just be an award more valuable than a championship ring, at least Cam Newton and Rich Gannon hope so.

The biggest personal prize in professional football this side of the 49th parallel is about momentum, early on (W5 >), on-going (consistency) and uninterrupted.

ryan-m-10-19-14-k-allison-702kWith one more game remaining for all 32 in NFL 2016, one more chance for players with MVP aspirations to prove their worth in the eyes of the Associated Press, the obscure but finely calibrated John Houseman MVP Meter is presently pointing to Matt Ryan as the most valuable and deserving player for the coveted prize.

Be aware, this meter gauges the player who most deserves to win the MVP, not the man who ultimately receives the most AP votes and then the hardware.

Wondering, as you should, what is the Houseman MVP Meter?

John Houseman (1902-88) was a noted producer of theater (Federal / Mercury) and then films who later in life became an actor of note in supporting roles in such movies as The Paper Chase (73 (Oscar®)), Three Days of the Condor and the classic sporting flick, the original Rollerball (75). But he may be best remembered for his Smith Barney TV ads uttering in his distinctive high-hat voice, “They earn money the old-fashioned way, they eaaaaaarn it.” Get it?

— — —

The time of announcing the MVP winner should change.

In recent years, the NFL – NFLPA decided it’d be cute to announce MVP winner at a ceremony the nite just prior to playing the Big Game (SB), someone I expect who has no real knowledge of athletics or interest therein. For if they did, they’d know that receiving word of having won what is admittedly a terrific recognition, is about the LAST thing a player, his coaches & teammates, want (or need) to hear < 24 hours before suiting-up for the biggest game of their lives.

Think Cam Newton needed to know he was voted League’s top player in 2015 the nite before kickoff? I doubt it (See; SB50).

— — —

Who Won’t Win


The AP – MVP awarding is, of course, a flawed process, not unlike the Heisman awarding for the supposed best player in a collegiate season. One defender has taken the college equivalent to MVP in its 83 years in Michigan’s Charles Woodson (DB / 97), two NFL defenders winning MVP in Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, Alan Page, as member of the vaunted Vikings’ Purple People Eaters (71) and Giants’ game-change linebacker in Lawrence Taylor (86).

As in most years, a defender will not win the MVP. Not because Landon Collins, Alec Ogletree & Kwon Alexander don’t deserve it, quite the contrary. When the fat field of contenders is assessed with a football savvy mind, tacklers rank high. And with no clear-cut offensive frontrunner this season, a defender should rate high. But AP voters, like most sport observers, think they understand offense best and can’t get enough (sticky-gloves), on field or off (MVP).


2016 Toppers like Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, they’ve gotta’ have well over 1500 yards gained in reception, along with 20+ TDs just to be considered. No qualifiers this year.

INT quarterbacks

Big Ben, Luck, Brees (71.C%), Jameis & Eli have too many INTs, i.e., mistakes. Hit the high-40s in TD passes and double-digit INTs won’t weigh so heavy, a huge toss total none of the above mentioned have approached in 2016. In fairness to field generals, until NFL starts judging INTs with an eye for accuracy, detracting deflected-pass INTs from QB tallies, we can’t know for certain exactly how many true interceptions signal-callers actually threw in a season.

Who May Win

Running backs

The last to haul in the AP was…AP, Adrian Peterson in 2012. If he’s the standard, your team need not win their division (NFCN – GB), you need not score a ton (13 TD) nor forge top receiving stats (40 – 217). But pass that 2000 rush barrier (2097) and get good mojo going with media (and blogisphere (moi)) around mid-season and you’ve got a serious shot at the MVP sans a blazing QB.

1. David Johnson (Cardinals): 1233y – 16.TD (run) // 77 – 841y – 4 (rec)
2. Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys): 1631 – 15 // 32 – 363 – 1 (ROY)
3. Le’Veon Bell (Steelers): 1268 – 7 // 75 – 616 – 1


Firstly, Tom Brady does NOT qualify for the 2016 MVP. Derek Carr doesn‘t either, going out in W16 with injury, but he’s closer than Tom.

Tom’s terrific but missed one-quarter of the season due to his Deflategate suspension. That’s weighty. Knowingly choose to destroy a phone in an inquiry and you’ll suffer consequences that celebrity won’t deflect.

And if you think the late start somehow worked a burden which TB’s fine play overcame and then now deserves some reward, you can throw that cockamamie theory in the trash with all that Xmas wrapping.

I like Brady. He’s a champion, looks un-enhanced by weight room residency or PEDs and when he speaks, people listen because he thinks about what he says. You won’t hear words like “poopfest” coming from Tom, not publicly, anyway. And it’s that thinking that’s made him maybe the greatest pro QB ever.

But the 2-time winner does…not…qualify. Period.

When Brady receives votes for the award, and he will, those casting will likely have done so, not because they really believe Tom to be 2016’s most valuable man, but instead as pay-back of sorts to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who ultimatley approved the QB’s Deflategate suspension. But one who thinks it better to show-up Goodell for meting out discipline than to vote with sincerity should not have that vote to cast in the first place. Period.

No Tom in the pool, no problem. It’s a QB league and there are plenty of MVP-caliber quarterbacks in 2016 to fill the bill without working pay-back (See; top).

The QB standard

1) TD-ratio
2) W-L (QB League)
3) Completion %
4) yards-per-pass (ypp), and
5) GWD (CC: clutch & composure)

As nearly every starting quarterback today will, with relative ease, surpass the 3000 yard passing mark, that category’s of lesser importance in MVP think.

Unlike the 1960s – 80s where completion percentages (%), even with great QBs like Bart Starr and Roger Staubach, were often in the mid-50s, in the 2000s the MVP-caliber quarterback should be well over the 60.C% mark.

1. Matt Ryan; 34-7, C% 69.5, 10-5, 9.3, 2gwd
2. Dak Prescott: 23-4, 68, 13-2, 8.0, 5gwd
3. Aaron Rodgers: 36-7, 65.5, 9-6, 7.2, 2.gwd
4. Derek Carr: 28-6, 63.7, 12-3, 7.0, 7gwd
5. Matt Stafford: 22-9, 66.1, 9-6, 7.2, 8 (4Q) gwd

Who Will Win?

Not the reigning MVP. Cats’ Cam Newton, for whatever reason (Super pout or strains of fatherhood?), has probably performed more poorly in defense of the prize than any prior (QB) winner since Brian Sipe in 1980, and, like Camster, proceeded to end his season too with a disastrous post-season game versus Tom Flores Raiders when Sipe went 13-40 with 3 INTs in the loss (Plunkett: 14-30, 2 INT). 2016 Newton: 6-6, 54.C%, 17-9, 7.1 (ypp); Sipe: 5-11, 55.C%, 17-25, 6.8.

It’s a tight race so this final slate of game is crucial for all the candidates.

Rivalry match-ups are in store, most of which could decide the outcome and then be fairly termed as ‘the MVP game.’

New Orleans @ Atlanta (Ryan)
Green Bay (Rodgers) @ Detroit (Stafford)
Dallas (Prescott & Elliott) @ Philadelphia
Arizona (Johnson) @ Los Angeles
Giants (Collins) @ Redskins

Of course, New England @ Miami, a GTW no doubt, is not listed.

Tom Brady would be eligible for the Super MVP if Patriots make it that far. But while Brady is ineligible for the regular MVP, fairness & logic are not always in play for voters, as Tom knows full well. If he performs in Miami, expect the junior-media element in the AP (anti-Goodell) to swing the vote, the trophy and the annoying night-before-the-Super-Bowl phone call, Tom’s way.

Ezekiel Elliott is having a tremendous rookie review but his scoring and multi-facet skill-set falls just short of Johnson’s.

Matt Stafford & Derek Carr’s GWD tallies are super but both relied more heavily on the short pass (7-7.3 ypp), an MVP detractor. It’s a measure which should boost ranking of the other resplendent Dallas rookie in Dak Prescott who’s been very careful with the ball (4 INT) in Ted Bridgewater fashion but unfortunately looked very average in Cowboys’ losses and a few wins, as well.

And Aaron Rodgers, already a vested member of the MVP Club (‘11 / 14), he played pedestrian in clutch time in season’s first half and didn’t get on radar soon enough to build sufficient voter support, especially when Tom is in the mix with many. And Rodgers’ 7.2 ypp , that’s junior league for a quarterback in his class. But there is the Favre Factor (Packer power in the press since 1992) and if Pack pound the Lions, Aaron could steal the trophy.

Who Should Win?

See above list and final game performances. Falcons’ Matt Ryan should take the trophy with strong final show against arch-rival Saints but New Orleans has been playing like contenders this second-half and might derail the Ryan Express, opening the door to the next in line (Johnson), and so on and so forth.

cherries-cloth-picdrome-6-2011-thmCherry Picks Week 17

Texans (9-6) @ Titans (8-7): 1.1 CBS 1:00: Titans win
Carolina (6-9) @ Tampa (8-7): Fox 1:00: Panthers win
Cowboys (13-2) @ Eagles (6-9): Fox 1:00: Philly wins
New England (13-2) @ Miami Dolphins (10-5) GTW: CBS 1:00: Patriots win
Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) @ San Diego Chargers (5-10): 4:25 CBS: Bolts win
Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-11): 4:25 Fox: Cards win
Oakland Raiders (12-3) @ DenverBroncos (8-7): 4:25 CBS: Broncos win
New York (10-5) @ Washington Redskins (8-6-1) GTW: 4:25 Fox: Giants win
New Orleans (7-8) @ Atlanta Falcons (10-5) GTW: 4:25 Fox: Falcons win
Green Bay Packers (9-6) @ Detroit Lions (9-6) GTW: NBC 8:30: Lions win

Record: 73 -88 – 2

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: NFL-MVP-trophy, wc.cca, 6.23.13, Teo’s89; M.Ryan, wc, K.Allison, 10.19.14; A.Ogletree, wc, Johnmaxmena2, 8.15.13; T.Brady, 11.29.15, J.Beall; cherries-cloth, picdrome, wc, 6.2011; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 12.27.16 @ 2:42pm, edit 6:06 EST; Copyright © 2016


NFL15 Minute Waltz W17: MVP Weekend

28 Dec

If you had a choice, which would you rather win:

1) The jewel-encrusted Super Bowl champion’s ring; or
2) NFL MVP trophy?

Keep in mind, it’s pretty good chance that the trophy comes with a ring too, plus a $100 coupon for Golden Corral (drinks not included) and a faux-wood pen & pencil set with recipient’s name and birth-date engraved. Just a guess.

.....SuperBowl.Ring.7.3.14.wc.USEmbassyCan.thmDoesn’t help, huh? I’ll make it easier.

There’s a strong likelihood most sport fans will go with the ring. And “that makes sense.”

The aura of a champion, one having run the gauntlet and vanquished a season’s slate of ornery opponents to get that ‘brass ring’ creates a palpable presence for the rank.

In team sport it’s why you play the game. Not for individual glory (Of course not, ask a offensive lineman or linebacker), but for fulfillment of a much broader community quest where multiple parts must work in harmony to reach the promised land and sup from the crowned cup of a victor. Roar!

.....MVP.NFL.6.23.13.Teo's89.thmOn the other hand, the wearer of a ring, quite formidable in size if you’ve ever cast your glims on one (0.5 oz?), must share his success. Even the championship-game MVP cannot claim sole responsibility for the enormity of the victory.

Although team success will often figure largely into the individual awarding, the regular season Most Valuable Player is recognized for his personal statistical achievement, contribution to that team success and an acceptable character on and off the gridiron.

Me, I’d go with the ring, the bejeweled one (SB).

But if Super swag were not a possibility in a particular season, i.e. elimination, the MVP would be a terrific consolation prize, a special marker of achievement in a life devoted to the sporting life. A pretty cool piece o‘ braggadocio, too.

......Newton.9.28.14.wc.K.Allison.thmAnd don’t forget the endorsement deals (“discount double check (Rodgers),” etc.) that are sure to follow, as long as you keep it clean (See; Peyton (“HGH” claim)).

As to the showing-off, just being named will have to suffice for the winner. The item itself leaves alot to be desired in form & substance. Frankly, it’s a clunker.

I don’t know who foots the bill for the MVP sculpture (NFL, PA or AP?) but the phrase ‘on the cheap’ comes to mind. Less a symbol of spectacularism, it looks more like a foot high sprinkler-head with an NFL cap and alot of space in the middle. Trophy lite, as it were. Radiant and lusterful it is not.

The NFL 2015 MVP recipient will be voted after close of the regular season and the winner announced day before the Super Bowl is played (2.6.16).

........Palmer.wc.9.3.15.J.Beall.thmIt’s a close race coming down the stretch requiring all 16 regular season games to figure a winner.

Cam Newton’s having a fine year but his digits are not MVP-like and Panthers suffering first loss of 2015 versus a 7-7 Falcons takes some bloom off the rose.

Cats feasted when NFC’s big dogs were shaking fleas (SEA / GB) yet their slate has been just mid-challenging rest of the way. NFC South turned surprisingly pathetic, given Falcons start and then Newton’s rabbit-habit (9+ attempts per) is gonna’ be his and his team’s undoing (See; Kaep (“Red-Zone Blues”) & Johnny Runs Alot).

....Bowman.wc.9.8.13.D.Hartwig.thmCarson Palmer’s right there, neck n‘ neck with the leaders. His numbers and leadership mirror Brady’s (See; PFR.com) and comeback from injury (’14) in advanced NFL age inspires (turned 36 Sunday in win v GB). And Arians’ Cards, they’re pretty nifty, too, losing likely All-Pro in Mathieu and filling the void.

Last season’s winner Rodgers (‘11 / ‘14) fell out after getting sacked into oblivion (8) by AZ on Sunday, Wilson similarly lost ground in loss at home to Rams but manager-QB Alex Smith would appear a dark horse candidate, riding a 2nd-half surge on smart play in KC’s push for the playoffs.

And too bad defenders don’t get serious consideration, Misters Alan Page (‘71) and Lawrence Taylor (‘86) excepted. If they did, another great comeback story is in NaVorro Bowman would become only the 3rd stoppage guy to grab the haughty hardware. Tackle-machines D’Qwell Jackson, Lavonte David and Reshad Jones all merit mention, as well.

....Brady.8.28.09.K.Allison.wc.thm.DCBut it’s been Tom Brady’s award to win or lose from the quarter-mile mark.

Brady (’07 / ’10) has been stalwart since he and his Pats easily dispatched Indianapolis in last January’s playoffs and has field-general’d like George S. Patton ever since, with team injuries galore and that Deflategate cloud hanging stationary overhead.

Consistently very good, sometimes great and never a bad outing going back to last season’s PS, in Patriots three defeats in 2015, two went OT (@ DEN, @ NYJ) as Brady put up solid #s to kept them close and outcome in doubt until final gun.

The following is how the top contenders stack-up after 16 weeks.

....Houseman.wc.A.Light.1979.thmHouseman MVP Meter
…awarded “the old-fashioned way, they eaaaaarn it

1) Tom Brady
2) Carson Palmer
3) Alex Smith
4) Cam Newton
5) NaVorro Bowman
6) Top running back
7) Top receiver
8) Top offensive lineman
9) Top field-goal kicker
10) Top injury-bump (Dalton)

.....macroecono.lamcasinoroyal.2011.wcSteven Keys
Macro Sport
Photo credit: T.Brady, wc, 11.29.15, J.Beall; Super.ring, wc, 7.3.14, US.Embassy, CAN; NFL-MVP, Teo’s89, wc, 6.23.13; C.Newton, wc, 9.28.14, K.Allison; C.Palmer, wc, Beall, 9.3.15; N.Bowman, wc, 9.3.13, D.Hartwig; T.Brady, wc, Allison, 8.28.9; J.Houseman, 1979, wc, A.Light; wc, 2011, macroecono, lamcasinoroyal.
Posted: 12.27.15 @ 11:16pm EST; Copyright © 2015