Michael Vick Named AP Comeback Player, E.J. Henderson Robbed
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was named The Associated Press 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year on Saturday night. The voting was basically a no-contest, with Vick receiving 29.5 votes, 21.5 ahead of second-place finisher, Seahawks receiver Mike Williams. The award seems to indicate that Vick has redeemed himself in the eyes of AP writers, as credible a journalistic organization as there is, but I can’t bring myself to agree with them. I can’t even agree with them on Williams in second-place.
This award should go to a player who estasblished themselves in the league before some sort of onfield or personal tragedy beyond their control — not self-inflicted as in the case of Vick — put their playing future in question. Overcoming such obstacles and returning to play well should be the criteria. Williams himself is on record as saying he didn’t deserve the award because he never established himself in the NFL. He told The Seattle Times the only thing he might qualify for is the “Comeback Couch Player of the Year.” If there’s a prison version of that award, by all means give it to Vick, but Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson, who received just 3.5 votes, should have won this one.
Henderson led the Vikings in tackles 2006 and 2007 and was leading the team in 2009 before he suffered a horrific knee injury. Be forewarned, it’s pretty gruesome:
After the injury, Henderson’s career was in serious question, but he persevered and made it back to play in all 16 games this season. He finished second on the team in tackles with 101. Henderson was even a late addition to the NFC Pro Bowl roster, the first such honor of his career. That’s the type of story and path back to the field that deserves to be honored, not a story like Vick’s.
Vick was honored by his teammates last season, when he won the Ed Block Courage Award, an honor bestowed upon Donte’ Stallworth by his teammates this year. While I don’t believe either player deserved that award, it’s voted on by players who may not be the image of objective credibility. The AP writers who voted on this award are supposed to be just that — objective and credible. They should have done better.
Thanks to LorenHall81 for the video.