So in case you haven’t heard, I’ve spent the better part of the last 24 hours making a pretty nasty mess.
Actually, and much to my surprise, that may be the understatement of the year. There is absolutely nothing clever or remotely entertaining about it.
I made a terrible mistake. It was completely my fault. There is no one else to blame, and I am here to try and apologize.
I own this and I couldn’t be more sorry.
I expect some clarity on exactly what I am apologizing for might be relevant and welcome.
There is no more respected bastion of journalism in the world than the Associated Press, and from where I sit there are few greater honors in my business than being chosen one of the 50 members of its panel that selects the NFL’s annual All Pro teams, MVPs, etc.
It has been my privilege to be a member of that team for some time now and Tuesday I violated a trust.
Our marching orders are to cast our votes as reasoned and thoughtfully as possible for those we believe to be the most deserving in our own considered judgment. All that is asked of us is not to discuss our votes publicly until after the awards have been announced.
On Tuesday, at 670 The Score in Chicago, where I am regularly employed as an analyst and host, for reasons that I am still trying to come to grips with but were completely my responsibility, I allowed myself to be walked into a conversation about an MVP candidate I knew I would not be voting for. I said some things that while not unreasonable in the context they were said, I voiced them in totally inappropriate ways.
I couldn’t possibly be more sorry for joining the conversation at all and some of the childish things I said about Aaron Rodgers.
Most of the other 49 AP voters are acquaintances, many are friends, and the reason we are asked not to do what I did is it now puts undo pressure on some of them to comment, not comment, agree, disagree or take grief for doing the right thing and remaining silent.
Worse yet, I’ve apparently unleashed a small army of self-styled social media and talk radio experts who have no clue what they’re talking about to challenge the quality of the voting process and would attempt to invalidate any vote or thought process that doesn’t agree with their own.
A sign of the times I guess.
To everyone in any way associated with the AP awards, you couldn’t possibly do the job any better or be more respected by anyone who actually cares more about getting it right than getting what they want.
To any player or coach that’s ever won an AP honor, you couldn’t possibly be more deserving and don’t ever let anyone call that into question.
To Aaron Rodgers, you are one of the greatest players of this generation and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
Whether or not you are this year’s MVP is up to the 50-member panel, neither me, nor my critics.
I couldn’t possibly be more sorry for dragging all of you into my mess and I hope you will accept my apology.
Why or how this became a national news story I don’t understand, and while I would love to be able to explain what I meant to say and butchered so badly, any further conversation about my own vote now would just throw another log on the fire and cloud what matters at the moment.
I was wrong, I own it and I couldn’t be more sorry.
I’ll be happy to discuss my vote and my reasoning with whomever would like to after the awards have been announced.
For now please don’t tarnish anyone else with my mistake. Think of me as you will, but I hope my responsibility and regret are clear.