Congratulations, Charles Woodson.
While Heisman’s defense was home nursing its bruised ego and scheduling tee times, the sports media was busy putting the finishing touches on its season-long “Hey, We Forgot About This Guy” tribute package. Picking up where Peter King and a host of Sunday morning off-the-field features left off, the Associated Press awarded its annual Defensive Player of the Year Award to the pretty-deserving-but-not-so-deserving Green Bay corner.
Woodson anchored a revamped Packers defense that finished first in rushing defense, fifth in passing defense and second in overall defense after switching to a 3-4 scheme in the offseason.
The Packers gave up 51 points on Sunday.
Woodson picked up 28 votes, doubling up Darrelle Revis, who finished second with 14 votes. As an act of protest, typically overreacting Jets fans staged a rally outside of League headquarters in downtown Manhattan, chanting the popular draft-day slogan, “H-O-L-Y: Crap! Crap! Crap!”
Woodson’s victory recalls the ’97 NBA MVP race in which goo-hearted voters honored Karl Malone with the We-Can’t-Give-It-To-Mike-Every-Year Award. Like Chuck, the Mailman mailed in an inspiring late-career performance, notching a 27, 10 and 5 for a 64-win Jazz team and reminding asleep-at-the-wheel writers that he’d been great for a long, long time (Jordan finished with a 30-7-4 for a record-setting Bulls team). Charles, like Malone, wasn’t the best in the league this year. But the AP said screw it, realizing that a) they’d missed the boat on this guy’s quietly awesome career and b) he’s 33 and still pretty damn great – that’s good enough for us.
Saints safety/ballhawk Darren Sharper – who also finished with 9 INT, who also scored 3 TD, who also had a late career resurgence padding his stats against offenses trying to outgun an elite quarterback – finished with 3 votes.
Woodson’s new hardware will no doubt shine as validation for a Hall-worthy career that never needed validation in the first place. A quick word to the shortsighted voters who equate interceptions with performance (I’m looking at you guy who thought about voting for Jairus Byrd): Chuckie was Nnamdi Asomugha before Asomugha was Asomugha, only with more hype and a pronounceable name. Both guys racked up picks early on before quarterbacks wised up and decided to avoid them altogether. Asomugha had 8 INT in ’06-’07. He’s had 3 since. Woodson, likewise, picked 5 passes his rookie season, and had a total of 12 in his subsequent seven campaigns. There was a time in his career that QBs couldn’t look his way without soiling themselves. That time has passed.
In light of the shafted runner-up, CBS has unveiled a new reality series in advance of Sunday’s Jets-Chargers game. Survivor All-Stars: Battle of Revis Island will square off has-been receivers against the New York corner in a month-long gauntlet to see which Cap Parasite keeps his job. Potential contestants include Randy Moss, Roy Williams and the artist formerly known as Ochocinco.
Should Williams make the cut, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has offered to finance the 3-D pilot in an effort to recoup his first, third and sixth round picks, $45 million, his left kidney and his integrity.
A source speaking on behalf of CBS President Leslie Moonves said that he does not think the company has the authority to retroactively nullify stupid decisions. He added that Moonves is a Giants fan.