The Machine is, among other things, a huge sports fan. Denver sports in particular, so when the staff here at Parallax Tower isn’t running terabytes of data through the Machine’s pipes, we generally just let it sit back and watch re-runs of Super Bowls XXXII, XXXIII, and 50 (where hath my Roman numerals gone on that one?).
One of the more peculiar things about sports is the need to crown a Most Valuable Player (MVP). It may be for an entire season, or just the playoffs, or even just a game, if the game is big enough (although wouldn’t you love to see MVP awards doled out for preseason and intrasquad scrimmages?).
Unfortunately, because human nature, what should be the Most Valuable Player deteriorates into the Most Vitrioled Player. Hence this post being essentially triggered by a tweet. I don’t need to reference the tweet or the tweeter – you could find millions of suitable examples. Case in point: the latest debate about the MVP of the NBA.
Now – again, I freely admit to Denver homerism through and through. So of course, I think Nikola Jokic should be the MVP. But I’ve also got good reasons for thinking that beyond just being a fan of both the person and the team. First and foremost is his historic level of production on a team that lost 2 of its top 3 players for the entire season. But if I were to post that on Twitter, and people actually read my tweets, I would be guaranteed a massive backlash, and it wouldn’t be a rational discourse on alternative tidbits for me to consider. It would be all about how Jokic is complete trash and doesn’t even belong in the same conversation as the other candidates.
So, like most things in life, people, just by being people, manage to F up what was a completely well-intentioned enterprise at its inception. Now no longer are we celebrating the achievements of all the people who are worthy to be in the MVP conversation. Instead, we are each belittling the achievements of all of those people except one. Value replaced by Vitriol. Nicely done, sports fans.
It is because we can’t be trusted with things like this that we should completely rethink the nature of the conversation. The Machine proposes that rather than give out MVP awards, we should just set aside a day to praise all the ridiculously amazing things we saw throughout the season. Celebrate the teams, celebrate a wide variety of players, and celebrate the moments we will never forget. At first glance you might think that sounds a little too much like a participation trophy, but hey, I’m not suggesting we show highlights of every layup or inbound pass. I’m talking about celebrating greatness, without devoting the majority of our energy to dismissing it because we want our one favorite player to get all the glory.
And ditch the acronyms while we’re at it. (ADTAWWAI)