Patrick Mahomes is going to win his second NFL MVP award when the time mercifully comes to hand out the honor. Few people dispute this! Well, few dispute it now that most of the smoke has cleared and Jalen Hurts has been sidelined with injury. And when this happens, we will finally know peace after months and months of trying to project who will win it without the requisite information and half the sample size. Perhaps that will be an opportunity to look back and realize the real MVPs were the friends made along the way. Or perhaps we'll look back and realize once again what a tremendous waste of time this topic is year after year after year.
My money is on the latter.
Look, there are more than a half-dozen 24-hour sports networks and more podcasts than there are people. The content machine must be constantly fed and has the jaws of Joey Chestnut. And maybe there are a bunch of people out there who do care. But I really wonder who the actual hell is interested in Who Is the NFL MVP roundtable discussions beginning in, like, Week 6.
Sports debate television is supposed to be fun and light and requires some sort of suspension of reality. There's nothing wrong with harboring and sharing strong opinions about who or who isn't the MVP a third of the way through the year but even the most passionate consumers must know, deep down, that this whole process is pretty ephemeral as the state of play is constantly changing.
The true and correct answer every time this comes up is "we'll see when all the games are played." Yet no talking head worth their salary is ever going to say that because it would break down this arbitrary fifth wall to sensible reality. Instead we are treated to anger and all sorts of passion on the topic. Which, again, is fine. But I would posit that the whole MVP check-in routine is wildly inorganic. It's the product of a writers' room that's phoning it in, not reflective of the public. Because no one is walking around in their everyday lives starting conversations about which quarterback deserves this future bauble.
As with all things in content, the quest to give the people what they want turns cyclical. Eventually those running these types of shows believe that the people want whatever they are giving them. Because that's the easiest way to go through the day.
More alarming is that some of the people who engage in this type of fare don't even seem to enjoy it. Take Nick Wright, who I am not picking on because his hair is magnificent and he's vastly more interesting and authentic than the replacement pundit. He is an unabashed Kansas City Chiefs fan and yet he's not happy with Mahomes winning the award because other people are now going to suggest Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson deserves to be in the conversation.
So what I'm suggesting is drastic yet perhaps necessary. All MVP discussions should be banned before the last two weeks of the season. In all sports. Think of society if we weren't distracted by debating things that don't have actual answers because the answers will inevitably change.
Think of the shows as well. They would be better. They would have time to explore other topics. They could try out new bits. They could know a freedom once thought impossible because they thought they had to check this box at least twice a week.
Perhaps I'm a dreamer, but I can't be the only one who envisions a world where we simply waited to weigh in until the scales actually showed us something meaningful.