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Armando Salguero: NFL MVP Voter Has Decided Aaron Rodgers Isn’t The MVP Because He’s ‘A Bad Guy’

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Meet the newest sports media Karen: Hub Arkush.

Witness a face of COVID-19 vaccine authoritarianism: Hub Arkush.

Meet the guy who has a vote on the otherwise esteemed Associated Press panel that casts MVP ballots who says he’s not voting for Aaron Rodgers because the Green Bay Packers quarterback is “a bad guy” for not being vaccinated and not admitting as much to reporters in an early-season press conference.

Remember Hub Arkush’s name because he represents people in the sports media, and frankly in every walk of life, who think anyone exercising their right not to get vaccinated should be punished.

Arkush is going to punish Rodgers by withholding his MVP vote. And, ominously, he says there is an anonymous group of voters who may join him.

“I can guarantee you I will not be the only one not voting for him,” Arkush said during a radio interview Tuesday on 670 The Score in Chicago.

Arkush is set off by the idea anyone who doesn’t comply to some imaginary vaccine mandate is putting the rest of society at risk.

In a sports paradigm, that means any teammate not getting vaccinated is facing a greater risk of catching COVID and spreading it to teammates throughout the locker room.

This thinking, of course, overlooks the fact the NFL has had its biggest outbreak of COVID-19 reserve list additions the past 2 to 3 weeks, and a vast majority of those players added to the list were vaccinated.

Arkush then reasons he can withhold an MVP vote from Rodgers with no evidence the QB spread the disease in his locker room simply because he missed a game and previously didn’t announce his status to reporters when asked — yeah, he lied — which makes Rodgers a horrible, horrible person in Arkush’s mind.

(Wonder if Hub Arkush has ever lied, or is he the second person in the entire history of the planet who never has?)

All of this, of course, means Arkush will ignore the very real possibility Aaron Rodgers is the NFL’s best player this season.

“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Arkush said. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady.

“So from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice. Do I think he’s gonna win it? Probably. A lot of voters don’t approach it the way I do, but others do, who I’ve spoken to.”

Let’s understand this clownish reasoning: Arkush admits Rodgers is a legitimate MVP candidate. And that’s correct because the guy has thrown 35 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions this year and led his team to the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, which grants the Packers a very valuable bye the entire postseason.

But Hubbie is going to go looking for Kupp or Taylor — great players who don’t touch the football every play — because he thinks they’re better guys?

And his judgment of what makes a nice guy is whether he’s vaccinated or not and admits it or not in a press conference.

“I just think that the way he’s carried himself is inappropriate,” Arkush said. “I think he’s a bad guy, and I don’t think a bad guy can be the most valuable guy at the same time.”

Arkush being transparent about his feelings may be a problem for the Associated Press, and he knows it.

“One of the ways we get to keep being voters is we’re not allowed to say who we are voting for until after the award has been announced,” he said. “I’m probably pushing the envelope by saying who I’m not voting for. But we’re not really supposed to reveal our votes.”

So the guy breaking rules and confidences he’s agreed to abide by is judging another guy on moral grounds?

“There’s no guidelines,” Arkush said. “We are told to pick the guy who we think is most valuable to his team. And I don’t think it says anywhere, ‘strictly on the field,’ although I do think he hurt his team on the field by the way he acted off the field. They’re gonna get the No. 1 seed anyway, but what if the difference had come down to the Chiefs game, where he lied about being vaccinated, and they ended up getting beat?”

“What if” didn’t happen.

What actually happened is the Green Bay Packers have the NFL’s best record at 13-3. With Rodgers in the lineup, they’re 13-2.

If the MVP voting devolves into what voters think of players as people rather than judging what those players mean to the success of their team, the award is no longer an MVP award.

It would be the Karen Arkush Award.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

7 Comments

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  1. “I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,”

    I sure wish Dak would start punishing his fans in such a manner….

    FU Karen Arkush

  2. “I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,”

    What’s with all this “punishment” talk? He thinks Rodgers put himself at extreme disadvantage to “punish” others…by going 13-3? I think there’s some projection going on with this guy. Apparently HE thinks about punishing others over Covid, so he assumes others do. Keep him away from sharp objects. I think we often have the patients running the asylum when it comes to the news.

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