Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The PFAs: where misty-eyed tributes reign supreme

Mr. Giggs proudly displays the Giggs' latest shiny sex toy

The first rule of player-voted awards is simple: they'll always get it wrong, mainly because scientists have proven the lack of brains afforded to athletes. This is simple fact; years of toiling and bothering with weight training, 2-a-day practice and working on Nike ads removes the brain's ability to think rationally.

Voting with the heart is a terrible affliction that plagues the Baseball Hall of Fame, and now, that cuddly sensation has spread to the PFAs, England's premier player-voted silverware party.

Simply put, the players got 'em all wrong.

First off, the PFA Player of the Year, won by the finest Welsh export since Tom Jones, Mr. Ryan Giggs. I'm not knocking his contributions to Manchester United or the beautiful game itself, but his worth as recipient is specious at best. The ageless midfielder started 12 games in the EPL this season, with 12 appearances as a second-half sub, and one questions the fact that what amounts essentially to a fringe player is picking up such lofty titles as PLayer of the Year.

With 4 other United players on the ballot, you'd figure any of them to be worthier shouts, or even the humble Mr. Gerrard, but alas, it was not to be. The misty-eyed voters are acknowledging Giggs' imminent retirement, and are awarding him thusly. Aww.

Not what I thought such awards were for, but I guess I'm wrong there.

Moving on to the Young Player of the Year, an even more absurd winner: Ashley bleedin' Young!

The filly from Villa, soon to scare opponents every fourth game or so while wearing an England shirt, beat out the peerless Stephen Ireland who, while toiling on a far worse team has achieved a great deal more. His workrate, vision, goalscoring and passing ability are far greater than young Mr. Young at this stage, he of the 6 goals and 8 assists this EPL season (and a staggering 1 goal since mid-December).

Another banana peel there, PFA.

And finally, the PFA Team of the Year. Cover your eyes! Avert your gaze!

Edwin van der Sar (Man United)
Glen Johnson (Portsmouth)
Rio Ferdinand (Man United)
Nemanja Vidic (Man United)
Patrice Evra (Man United)
Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Ryan Giggs (Man United)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United)
Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea)
Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

While it's to be expected that several Reds would dominate the XI, I find it hard to believe that Evra really merits inclusion. And the exclusion of guys like Hangeland, Jagielka, and even Lampard is a crying shame. It would be nice to think that the fine folks who play this game every week might be able to make objective selections, but then again, considering their Saturday afternoons are normally spent yelling at the referee for not giving them a penalty, I fully understand their lack of judgment.

I also get that the voting ended in mid-March (I'm not buying Gordon Taylor's limp defense, either), and that these high-paid ballerinas are too busy drinking and fighting in nightclubs, running people over willy-nilly with their Ferraris, and using coupons at restaurants to sit down in their personal offices to really give this more than a moment's thought. In fact, barely any of 'em probably have an office or study in their 56-room mansions, but that's a complaint for another place and time.

Honestly, PFA: next season, vote for those players who actually played well and consistently for their teams. It's hardly rocket science (thought it might seem that way).

And so concludes my Andy Rooney-esque griping. I hope it killed another 10 minutes of your life ahead of the Barca/Chelshea cull this afternoon.


Nicole said...

The problem with the PFA awards is the timing as to when the ballots and the votes need to be in.

It's not even like they have a full season to make a decision. The nominations have to be in pretty early in the season, and then voting is done shortly after. The award is selected on the first half of the season at most.

I really like Giggsy, but I don't think that he should have been player of the year. Considering the fact that the season is not even over yet, how is anyone to say he was the best at this point. Not to mention, it's not like he has featured in a substantial amount games at this point.

If they had wanted to give him some kind of lifetime achievement award, that would have been much more relevant.

I am not even going to comment on the "Team of the Year". Coming from a life long United supporter, that should tell you something.

Spectator said...

Giggs has a bit of a Hannibal Lecter look in that picture.