Vikings RB Adrian Peterson wins NFL MVP at eventful awards show
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson accepts the award for the NFL Fantasy Player of the Year during the NFL Honors award show in New Orleans, La., Feb. 2, 2013. He also won for most offensive player and MVP. (JEFF HAYNES/Reuters)
It’s hard to remember exactly when the Super Bowl made the move from sporting event to spectacle but if you somehow still cling to the simple belief that it is just a jazzed up football game, then you weren’t watching CBS Saturday night.
The Super Bowl is celebrated for being a happening, an event that isn’t to be missed and part of it’s mesh of celebrity and sport was on display at the second annual NFL Honors award show.
The U.S. likes nothing better than to celebrate all things American and if the so-called stars come out then it ranks as something that is worth watching.
Alex Baldwin was host of the tape-delayed show — and a show it is — which is now no different than any other televised awards show be it the Grammys, the Golden Globes or Academy Awards.
“Wait until everybody finds out there’s a football game tomorrow,” Baldwin quipped.
Problem is that you knew the night’s winners before the 9 p.m. telecast.
Not a lot of drama there folks but a lot of banter, one-liners and neat game footage.
About 99% of the time, the big news is the result of the MVP vote. It had a run for its money this year.
That’s not to say that the MVP Award was without suspense. There were four players who were deserving of the nod — Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers — and you can make a solid case for all of them.
Peterson, however, emerged as the big winner as he took home two top awards, the MVP plus the Offensive Player of The Year.
It wasn’t a surprise that Peterson, who rushed for 2,109 yards, won both awards, but by the margins.
In the MVP voting, Peterson topped Manning 30 1/2 to 19 1/2. In offensive player voting, Peterson received 36 votes.
The award that was generating the most buzz entering the night was who would be the Offensive Rookie winner?
A deserving Robert Griffin III ended up the winner.
Griffin was a dazzling addition to the Washington Redskins, who traded up to secure him with the second-overall pick. A late-season knee injury, though, paved the way to the Redskins exiting the playoffs. Griffin ended up needing major knee surgery while head coach Mike Shanahan got blasted from all corners for keeping him in the playoff game against Seattle when he was hobbling around on one leg.
Griffin was picked over the likes of the Colts QB Andrew Luck and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.
“Well, it’s a truly a blessing to be up here and be able to stand, first and foremost,” Griffin said.
Redskins’ fans say ‘Amen’ to that.
There was no drama in the voting for the other awards.
Houston’s J.J. Watt was the near unanimous winner of Defensive Player of the Year honours, garnering 49 votes.
Watt was the league’s sack leader with 20 1/2 and harassed quarterbacks the same way that the lone voting dissenter — who picked Denver linebacker Von Miller — figures to be.
Coach of the Year went to an interim for the first time as Bruce Arians copped the award. Arians filled in for the Colts’ Chuck Pagano, who missed time after being diagnosed with leukemia, and led the team to a 9-3 record.
Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, who led the league in tackles with 164, won the top defensive rookie award.
While waiting for the awards show to hit the tube I did something I haven’t done in five years or so — I clicked on to the start of the Leafs’ game. Bruins-Buds, it sounded good and to top it off it was the 60th anniversary of Hockey Night In Canada. Who knew?
At the ceremonial puck dropping that brought the trio of Ron MacLean, Doug Gilmour and Don Cherry to centre ice, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara stood like a giant California redwood. “I feel like a midget,” Cherry chirped. He was right, he did.
Bruins-Leafs has become a big deal, has a decided edge to it since the Phil Kessel deal. That comes through the TV loud and clear.
Five years. It was worth the wait.
The NFL awards, the Bruins-Leafs game plus Wiarton Willie. Now that’s what I call a pretty good day.
Finally, it would have been a nice touch if CBS or the NFL or Super Bowl Committee or somebody had reached out to Courtney Lenz, the Ravens cheerleader who was deemed too beefy to be invited to New Orleans.
I mean, they could have shipped her air freight.
Lenz said she didn’t make the final cut due to the fact she had packed on an additional 1.8 pounds, which works out to seven quarter-pounders. It would have been a nice touch to ask her to be a guest presenter at the award show to prove how inclusive the NFL is and all.
The other day, Lenz spilled her guts, if you’ll pardon the expression, to Access Hollywood.
“I’d been benched earlier in the season for a little bit of a weight gain,” Lenz revealed. “We do get weighed every week during the season, and you can’t fluctuate at all. I gained, I think it was 1.8 pounds ... They didn’t specifically say that (I was disqualified for weight gain), but when it comes down to it, that’s the only disciplinary action I had during the year. I got benched because of my weight. It isn’t fair, and that’s why I brought this to the attention of the fans because what they’re doing isn’t right.”
Spotting her elephantine figure on the sidelines no doubt would be the ultimate embarrassment to the Ravens organization and the city of Baltimore.
Next stop for Lenz is the Nathan Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island.