Lamar Jackson is on his way to his second MVP award and has saved America in process. Just two weeks ago we were looking at the most underserving NFL MVP in league history as Brock Purdy was the Vegas favorite. You might be thinking that saving America is a bit dramatic--au contraire. So much of American culture is centered around sports, and within sports it’s all about Football. From Friday Night Tykes to the Super Bowl and everywhere in between. The highest level is the NFL and the most coveted individual award is the MVP. This award has to mean something--it has to mean everything.
It makes sense that Purdy's name was in the discussion. He is playing the most important position on the best team, but the latter is hardly his doing. During the NFL draft Purdy was named Mr. Irrelevant, and America loves nothing more than an underdog story. It's what we were built on, the little guy who no one believed in defying all odds. It would've been an incredible story, but disingenuous at best. Purdy, not even the best player on his team, was going to be deemed the best player in the league?
December 25th, 1776. One of the most important days in American history. George Washington crosses the Delaware River in what is the turning point for American forces in the Revolutionary War leading to American freedom. I find it fitting that 247 years later to the day we had another momentous day in our history. The leagues two top teams and two MVP favorites face off. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens defeated
Purdy and the 49ers. That night Lamar all but won the MVP and saved the sport so many of us love.
If in this presidential analogy Lamar Jackson is George Washington, saving us from an evil power with a heroic performance on Christmas Day, then Brock Purdy is Harry Truman. Truman was the president that helped end WWII but hardly any would describe him as the MVP (most valuable president). Truman's term, similar to Purdy's, featured many explosive attacks and victories. Yes, these men led the way, but with less support it’s hard to imagine either have as much success. That's why this year's hit movie about the end of WWII was called "Oppenheimer" and not "Truman". It's about the man behind the scenes who engineered it all. If there is a movie about this football team in 50 years, do you think it'd be called "Purdy”, or would you expect it be called "Shanahan"? I know my answer.
Now, I have warmed up slightly to Purdy. Being a QB is hard. Being a President is hard. I think they both did their jobs well. I am just saying that if someone told you Truman was the greatest American President, I would think that'd be disrespectful to likes of Washington, Lincoln, and FDR. If Purdy won the MVP I would think that'd be disrespectful to the likes of Brady, Mahomes, and Manning.
We have such strides in the world of football since the implementation of the forward pass. I feared with a Purdy MVP we would backslide, undoing years of greatness and hard work. I feared it would set a dangerous precedent that nothing is sacred anymore and lead to a backslide of our country as well. Thankfully I get to sleep well at night because men like George Washington cross the Delaware River and men like Lamar Jackson win the NFL MVP.
God Bless America and God Bless Football.