Friday, January 02, 2009

Peyton Manning: fourth three-time AP MVP

Peyton Manning is the 2008 NFL MVP (SI).

The AP article claims that Manning joins Brett Favre as the only three-time winner of MVP (since "The award has been given by the AP since 1961")., wikipedia , and cite AP MVPs back to 1957, thus making Jim Brown ('57, '58, '65) and Johnny Unitas ('59, '64, '67) three-time AP MVPs.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame also cites "NFL MVP" on player profile pages, and thus notes that Jim Brown was "NFL's Most Valuable Player, 1957, 1958, 1965" and Johnny Unitas was "NFL player of the year three times."

I interpret the AP article to mean the AP MVP became the official NFL MVP award in 1961. Still, since the award was given prior to 1961, and both Brown and Unitas did win the award three times, I find it awkward to claim only Manning and Favre are three-time MVPs (I also consider Manning and Favre to each be 2.5 time MVPs; they each shared the award once). For years commentators have called Favre the only three-time MVP, and now commentators will call Favre and Manning the only three-time MVPs. If the AP MVP wasn't the official award from 1957-1960, then of course that isn't technically incorrect. But since it is the AP MVP both Favre and Manning have won three times, it seems awkward to ignore three-time AP MVPs Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas.

See John Turney's "Correcting the Record on the 'NFL Record and Fact Book'" in Pro Football Weekly.


  1. C'mon. What about Randall Cunningham. 3-time MVP, man. '88, '90, and '98. The man gets absolutely no respect.

  2. SNL, what organization's award are you looking at? Cunningham was never AP MVP: in '88 it was Esiason, in '90 it was Montana, and in '98 it wasTerrell Davis.

  3. OK, sorry. So we're solely looking at AP.

  4. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Read this:

    and this:

    As of this morning the AP listed the winners from 1957 to the present. This afternoon it is from 1961 to the present.

    The above article in Pro Football Weekly suggests they were wrong about 1958, 1959, and 1960 anyway.

    looks like CYA to me

  5. Thanks Anon: since that Pro Football Weekly article is so directly relevant, I'm going to add a link to the post.

  6. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Another link, why is AP ripping off Unitas and Brown?