It seemed only fitting that, at a time when Hollywood can't go a week without presenting statuettes to itself, the NFL got in the mix with the 2nd Annual NFL Honors – complete with red carpet.
If anything, the league did it right when it came to an awards show. There wasn't the vicious nature of having stand-up comedians tearing players up as is the habit at many of the awards show, although Alec Baldwin did take his share of shots at some players. Just ask Christian Ponder. In a joke centering on the recent practice of Kaepernicking, Baldwin said that others have taken to trademark their own signature move, including Pondering – which is standing by doing nothing and marveling at how impressive Adrian Peterson is.
There weren't any musical numbers (thank God) and they didn't have to play off those who won awards. The night had its share of highlights and the Vikings more than played their role.
It was Adrian Peterson's night. Not only did he walk away with the Most Valuable Player Award, he was also named Offensive Player of the Year, NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year and FedEx Ground Player of the Year. But the night wasn't without its share of controversy.
In what was clearly the most awkward moment of the night, the comedy stylings of Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre led many to advise both not to quit their day jobs (if Favre has one). The two shared snappy (written) banter as they presented the Comeback Player of the Year, but it was the seating arrangements Saturday night that got some thinking that the rift between the Packers and Favre may not completely be finished.
At awards shows, seating arrangements are carefully orchestrated. NFL Honors was no different. Former Cowboys and 49ers were intentionally placed near one another for easy photo opportunities. The Manning family was situated front and center. But where was Favre? He was sitting a row behind Peterson and alongside Leslie Frazier (who garnered votes for Coach of the Year). If nothing else, the person in charge of seating the stars of the NFL still considers Favre to be a Viking and not a Packer.
As the Super Bowl hoopla begins in earnest hours before kickoff, there will be moments that will have fans rolling their eyes and muttering, "Get to the game already." But one area that won't receive too much criticism was the NFL Honors ceremony. It was slickly done and some of the Hollywood blowhards could take a cue from what the NFL was able to accomplish. It patted itself on the back with a self-deprecating humor, while showing a reverence to its past. A.D. may have dominated the night, but the NFL found a way to market many of its young stars, its 32 teams, and perhaps most importantly, "The Shield" on national prime-time TV – and did it as well as any of Hollywood's self-congratulatory productions.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.