Shutdown Corner - NFL

Last night while discussing the Rookie of the Year on the podcast, Danks suggested that the NFL also have an award for old men. It was referred to at the time as the "Old Man Award," but today, I'd like to rename it "The Vinny Testaverde Award," in honor of our good friend Vincenzo, the ancient Italian interception machine.

I'd also like to flesh the idea out a little bit, because I think it's a good one. I think it's one that the NFL should adopt immediately.

I really believe that this would become a coveted, prestigious award. You've gotta respect the old guys in the league. It's not like they're throwing darts here. These are men old enough to have severe arthritis, and they're out there blocking Jon Beason, or being sacked by Julius Peppers.

Winning this award would be a big thing for a player. Not only would they get the creepy gold Vinny trophy, but I'd imagine that Levitra and Cialis would be waiting for them the second they stepped off the podium, with endorsement contracts in hand.

We originally suggested that the award be for NFL players age 40 and above, but that actually wouldn't work, especially since we also suggested that kickers and punters be excluded. There have only been 36 players in NFL history to play in a game once past the age of 40.

And I want this award to carry a little bit of legitimacy. I want there to be some actual competition for it ... not just something that's handed out to someone who simply manages to cling to a roster spot.

So I think the optimum age here is 35. There really aren't a ton of players in the NFL over the age of 35, especially non-kickers.

It's not that I'm anti-kicker, it's just that playing in the NFL as a kicker isn't so insanely physically demanding that it deserves special recognition if done past the age of 35. If you can bowl at the age of 35, you can probably placekick. This is an award for the old guys out there who still have the jock strap contents to be splitting their time between PTA meetings and taking a physical pounding on Sundays.

If the award came into existence in 2008, and the eligibility criteria were to state that a player had to turn 35 years of age or older this calendar year, a list of finalists for the 2008 Vinny Testaverde Award might look something like this:

Derrick Books, Bucs
Tedy Bruschi, Patriots
Kerry Collins, Titans
Donnie Edwards, Chiefs
Brett Favre, Jets
Gus Frerotte, Vikings
Joey Galloway, Bucs
Marvin Harrison, Colts
Kevin Mawae, Titans
Mushin Muhammad, Panthers
Lorenzo Neal, Ravens
Terrell Owens, Cowboys
Jon Runyan, Eagles
Zach Thomas, Cowboys
Kurt Warner, Cardinals
Pat Williams, Vikings

It would probably be a rare feat for the NFL's MVP to also receive the NFL's Vinny Testaverde Award in the same year, but Kurt Warner would have my vote for both in 2008.

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