Well, I've procrastinated enough. Time to finally make up my mind and submit my MVP votes.
Oh, they were due at 12:30 Eastern?
Two days ago?
Sorry, Edson. Yeah, I was sticking by my guns. My second choice was Landon. Am I eating donuts and working at a nuclear power plant? Am I reciting the Iliad and the Odyssey? Am I looking up Wikipedia for an example of a third famous Homer, and learning something new about Plessy v. Ferguson? Very well, then. It's a regular season award, and stinking up the continent since July 4 doesn't invalidate how great they wert before then. Wondolowski would have had my third place vote.
I feel horrible about this, and not just because Edson Buddle will punch me in the mouth if he loses the MVP award by one vote. (I did vote for him for LA Riot Squad Player of the Year. You'd think that would make up for it.) Every time I have a vote in an important award, I always think it will be my last.
Obviously, Scott was trolling me by saying he voted for Beckham.
Scott did make a fantastic point in the October 24 article, though:
Quibble with Scott's positioning, or else laud him for picking Ferreira as MVP where I only had him fourth or so, but he was right about the Best XI ballot. The MLS ballot is a series of drop-down boxes, with no write-in options. The purpose of this is to prevent people voting a best eleven with seven forwards, or people like Scott French from putting Wondolowski in midfield.
The ballot also forces - well, forced, it's in the past now - voters to pick a 3-5-2. That's nice in years where it's not the easiest thing in the world to pick a fourth defender that's better than a fifth midfielder, but who in the league plays a 3-5-2? I could argue that the MLS ballot wasn't restrictive enough - it should have been a 4-4-2, with slots strictly for left backs, right backs, and the two defensive midfielders everybody plays these days. There have been years when no d-mids made the Best XI, after all. In fact, if you went by previous years, you'd think Shalrie Joseph and Chris Armas were the only two d-mids in MLS history.
Oh, right, Kerry Zavagnin had that fantastic 2004. That's three.
And although no one else seems to admit it, the Goalkeeper of the Year race is just as agonizing as the MVP pick. I didn't even know which hometown guy to go with, Ricketts or Hartman.
If you think Rimando is a slam-dunk (as opposed to a deserving winner), then you're ignoring how Bouna Coundoul faced something like half again as many shots and shots on goal, and had a worse defense in front of him. Hartman technically had better stats than Rimando, too, although he played fewer games. But then again, Hartman played fewer games because he had to win the job away from Sala, an upgrade which helped the ex-Burn become title contenders as much as Ferreira's arrival. And he missed the last few games of the season, altering the playoff structure in unknowable ways. (Well, it might have just switched 2nd and 3rd in the West, which would have altered the playoff structure absolutely not at all.)
For all I know it will be Rimando in a runaway, or it will be a seven-way tie for first. Impossible to tell.
In case you care who's my best XI at this point...well, a couple of "Screw you, it was MY ballot" picks are on there, I admit:
....okay, clearly I haven't used the lineup tool before. Now that I have, I LOVE it. Not only won't I change it, I will devote my life to someday seeing this lineup play a game as listed.