Submitted Opinion by Peyton Distler
On Feb. 1, millions of Americans watched as the New England Patriots took home the Lombardi trophy, along with another batch of Super Bowl rings.
For quarterback Tom Brady, this is a very familiar experience followed by the announcement that he had won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) for the third time in his career.
Some people have questioned why Brady won the award. After all, if it was not for the interception made by rookie Malcolm Butler that resulted in the Patriot’s victory. The reason for Brady being the recipient of the award is that quarterbacks make more money for the NFL than cornerbacks. Quarterbacks make more money for the NFL than any other position, and tend to be the face of each team, that is why they are chosen for the MVP award more than any other position.
The winner of the MVP award is decided by 16 football writers and broadcasters in a vote after the game, as well as votes from the fans.
However, the fan vote only influences the decision by 20 percent. The other 80 percent of the MVP decision goes to the 16 sports writers and broadcasters. These broadcasters and writers have heavy ties to the NFL.
If the NFL does not make money there is potential for cutting TV time, and therefore losing the need for as many announcers. Consequently, without much coverage there will be a dip in fan base, leaving less columns written in newspapers involving the coverage of football.
It is a slippery slope but the thought of the organization heading down that path is scary for those who invest in it. So how do these sports journalists ensure that their jobs are protected? Choose the player that can make the NFL the most revenue in advertising and jersey sales. But what is so special about quarterbacks?
In the entire history of the award for Super Bowl MVP, 27 of them have been given to quarterback such as Terry Bradshaw and Drew Brees. The second highest amount of MVP awards has been given to the running back position with a total of seven awards. This makes perfect sense.
After all, every kid who grows up watching football wants to be the quarterback in the backyard league. They don’t just want to play the part of the quarterback, they want to look it too. To accomplish this they buy the jersey of their favorite quarterback.
This behavior does not change as these kids enter adulthood and the NFL makes an incredible amount of money from the sale of these players’ jerseys. No kid ever dreams about being the corner back. The NFL would not make much money after a year from selling a Malcolm Butler jersey, even from die-hard Patriot fans.
While it is true that quarterback jerseys are not the only popular player jerseys being purchased. Many running backs, wide receivers, and defensive positions have gotten major attention. Clay Mathews, J.J. Watt, and my personal favorite Charles Woodson, all have successful amounts of jersey sales.
However, Watt and Woodson both play for teams without any outstanding quarterbacks and Mathews has lost some of the spotlight ever since the quarterback for his team, Aaron Rodgers, built a more substantial name for himself. This includes Rodgers’s own MVP award in 2011 and the numerous State Farm “Discount Double-Check” commercials, yet another way that quarterbacks tend to generate a lot of publicity for the sport.
The bottom line is that quarterbacks make more money for the league. They are heros in the eyes of followers of the sport and can generate the most revenue for the NFL through commercial deals and jersey sales. Quarterbacks also tend to be a fan favorite and the face of the team. These are the reasons why the quarterback is the winner of the MVP more than any other position.