As a tribute to the one of the best shows on television, here is part 1 of my NFL rundown:
MVP award: Frankly, I don't watch enough game film to consider the value of offensive lineman, and it's sure tough to figure out defensive value; so we're going to go ahead and limit this to offensive skill players.
1) LaDainian Tomlinson - For a while, everyone was arguing whether or not we should call Tomlinson "LT." Maybe we should start thinking of a new nickname for Lawrence Taylor instead. Watching him play has always been a joy, and the touchdown record is only a part of it. No one in history has had a better size, speed, vision, throwing, blocking combination than LT. He has officially entered the Faulk vs Sanders debate of best RB in my lifetime.
2) Drew Brees - 2008's Sportsman of the Year is in second place. Somewhere along the line, this guy has developed balls the size of watermelons and the ability to hit Devery Henderson in double coverage. So, I'll take the bait. I am somewhat lukewarm on him being in second on this ballot, because anyone who watches the Saints play know that Reggie Bush and Sean Payton are the stars of that team. But Brees directs all the moving parts of that expertly called offense with at least as much aplomb as Peyton Manning has this year.
3) Chad Johnson - He leads the AFC in receiving yards for the 4th straight year, and even the whole NFL. This is without getting any accurate balls thrown to him over the first 8 games of the season. He has made more unbelievable catches to keep drives alive against double coverage this year, including a 4th and 1 diving catch on a 33 yard pass at the end of the Panthers game to keep the Bengals season alive. If Carson had been healthy this year, he might be stalking Jerry Rice's magic 1800 yard number.
4) Vince Young - He really could be number one on this list. No player has meant more to his team this year than VY. Who knows how great he will become, but he has singlehandedly turned around a franchise which had been moribund of late.
5) Frank Gore - Why over LJ? Let's see, KC has had a top 5 rusher for the past 5 years whether it's Priest or LJ or whoever. Frank Gore was playing with a developing QB, a rookie tight end, Antonio Bryant as a top wideout.