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Hub Arkush, NFL MVP Voter Said He Wouldn‘t Vote for Aaron Rodgers, Reveals He Cast Ballot for Cooper Kupp

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 2022-02-16
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Hub Arkush, the executive editor for Pro Football Weekly and one of 50 Associated Press NFL MVP voters, revealed that he cast his ballot for Cooper Kupp after making clear that he wouldn‘t vote for the eventual winner of the award, Aaron Rodgers.

In an appearance on the “Parkins and Spiegel Show” 670 The Score in Chicago on Tuesday, Arkush shared that he was the lone voter to choose Kupp as the league‘s 2021 MVP. He was one of the 11 AP voters that didn’t vote for Rodgers, with the other 10 casting their ballots for Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

“At the end of the day, the idea that there was ever any personal bias is ridiculous. It‘s subjective,“ Arkush said of his decision to choose Kupp over Rodgers. “There‘s nothing that requires that the MVP be considered for on-the-field [actions] only. It‘s not in the rules, it‘s not in the instructions... I just looked at a long list of worth candidates this year. I would have no argument with Rodgers winning it, Brady winning it, Cooper Kupp winning it, Jonathan Taylor winning it and I could give you a few more...

“I purposefully looked beyond just the on-the-field stuff to see if there were any liabilities. Rodgers brought a ton of liabilities to the Packers this year, that was always my issue. He clearly is the MVP, I don‘t dispute that in any way... It‘s tremendously subjective and, you know, I think I got it right.”

Back in January, with the regular season nearing its end, Arkush revealed that he’d already made up his mind not to vote for Rodgers for MVP. He called the Packers quarterback “the biggest jerk in the league” and a “bad guy”, explaining that his off-the-field antics greatly hurt his ability to be the NFL‘s most impactful player.

“I don‘t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team and your organization and your fanbase in the way he did and be the most valuable player,” Arkush said on the Jan. 4 “Parkins and Spiegel Show” on 670 The Score in Chicago. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he’s been clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor, or Cooper Kupp, or maybe even Tom Brady.”

Rodgers caught wind of Arkush’s comments and responded, calling the voter “an absolute bum.” Arkush issued a written apology for tipping his hand before votes had been cast, but not for his opinions on nixing Rodgers.

“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,” Arkush wrote in response to his original comments.

Although Arkush was his only backer, an argument could have been made that Kupp was the league‘s most valuable player in 2021. The Rams wide receiver won the triple-crown, leading the league during the regular season in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns on his way to being named Offensive Player of the Year. He followed that up with an electric run in the playoffs that culminated in winning Super Bowl MVP, when he caught two touchdowns in LA‘s win over Cincinnati.

Despite Kupp‘s efforts, Rodgers won his fourth MVP award and his second in a row. He led the Packers to a league-best 13–4 regular season record and a No. 1 seed in the NFC, while throwing for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and four interceptions.

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