Page 1

NEWS, PAGE 3 Pride Day continued

OPINIONS, PAGE 2

SPORTS, PAGE 4

The 90-day challenge: unplugging from technology

Rain Dance: ASU Rugby defeats Emory

THE HERALD Informing Arkansas State University since 1921

Monday, Feb. 6, 2012

asuherald.com

Vol. 90 Issue 30

Who's Got Spirit? Office Decorating and a handful of other awards. Awards such as the Scarlet Bella Award, the Howler Award and the Alpha Wolf Award were given out in the leadership center Thursday at noon, led by the spirit club director for SAB, Stevie Overby. There was also a prize wheel in the center where participants were able to spin for chances to win free

Lindsey Blakely News Editor As Pride Day has become an annual spring semester event for ASU, so have the friendly competitions it merits each year. Those include the craziest fan contest, Pride Day

t-shirts and other prizes. The first award handed out was the Office Decorating Contest, which went to Wilson Advising. The next award handed out was the Scarlet Bella, an award handed out by Natalie Wilbanks, vice president of the Student Government Association. See PRIDE, page 3 Staci Vandagriff/Herald

Global Student Leaders take ASU brand abroad Ari Yuki Staff Writer The Global Leadership Experience course gives students valuable experiences through trips to various parts of the world. This year, the course is offering three trips overseas to Ecuador, India and Sri Lanka. Trips to Ecuador and India are scheduled during the week of spring break, March 16 through 25. Clint Relyea, a coordinator of the international business program, said the trip to Sri Lanka is very new and will be in August. On the trip to Ecuador, students will work in micro industries in Salinas. Coordinator of the trip to Ecuador, Taylor Woodruff, an undergraduate assistant for the International Business Resource Center, said students will not only help people in those places have a better quality of life and learn how the culture functions, but will also learn to appreciate what they have here and the differences of other developed cultures. “They don’t have electricity all the time, and they don’t have clean wa-

Staci Vandagriff/Herald

Michael Docktor, office of research and technology transfer, presented the revised policy to the senate and said it was "restrictive" and that he was "personally concerned that faculty would have to jump through hoops in the new policy."

Faculty Senate objects to policy Kayla Paine Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Clint Relyea

The Global Student Leadership Experience took a trip to Ecuador last year, where they will be returning this year, as well as going to India and Sri Lanka. ter and education,” Woodruff said. He went to Ecuador once and he said it was very surprising for him how someone who lives on $2 a day can be so happy and energetic about life. “Here in the U.S., we forget what living is truly about and we work to live and live to work. We all

could use a good lesson on simple appreciation; instead we worry and become angry when our 3G isn’t working.” Woodruff said. “That is something this experience has really taught me, just appreciate.” He also said it is incredible to see how people who joined the trip have im-

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pacted them over the last four years. “The community now has a positive business strategy and some of the industries have really grown.” Woodruff said. Paxton Marotti, a senior international business major of West Memphis, also went to Ecuador last See GLOBAL, page 3

All students and persons employed by the Arkansas State University System may lose their rights to their own “Intellectual Property” in an updated policy that is being reviewed in the shared governance process. The policy made its way to the faculty senate meeting on Friday. “Intellectual Property” is defined in the policy as any material capable of legal protection (copyright, license and patent) arising out of scholarly production. The material can be a multitude of things including invention, works of art, computer software, biological discoveries, etc. The senate unanimously gave an advisory vote against the policy and passed a resolution that urged for the current policy that was passed in 2005, remain in effect. The revised policy would make all “intellectual property” no longer the author’s property, but rather the See FACULTY, page 3

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Of interest online Hear something funny or interesting on campus? Tweet it to @OverheardAtASU and you could see it printed in The Herald!


PAGE 2

OPINION

Monday, Feb. 6

The Herald

Understanding the Christian faith: the Bible

— Our View —

Too much of a good thing? Today, we are bombarded by Twitter updates, Facebook photos and blog posts. Most of us are frequent users of Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Sites like these are allowing communication with others in ways thought impossible decades ago. Certainly, there are great benefits to our use of social media. For example, we are able to keep in touch with others and see glimpses of their lives through the various photos, status updates and contact information our friends and family provide. Social media is also not limited to friends, of course. Many of us receive daily news updates and promotions through these means. But while it’s easy to point out the many benefits of social media, it is not very difficult to see many of the drawbacks social media presents. It goes without saying that our increased use of social media has dramatically changed our relationships with other people. In many ways, viewing our “friends” on Facebook, while interesting, are typically false views of their lives. The vast of majority of social media users present themselves so as to make a good impression. While this is not to be unexpected, it does show how social media is often very far removed from reality. Blogs, Facebook profiles and Twitter updates do not always reveal the struggles people go through on a daily basis. Sometimes, our obssession with the newest piece of juicy information on the Jones’ takes away the quality time we could spend in developing a relationship with someone real. Is it any wonder that as we continually add to our list of e-friends on a daily basis, our relationships with our real friends seem to suffer? In light of Depression Awareness Week, it is important for us to take a step back from social media, if we use it constantly, and look for others who are in need. There are hundreds of students at ASU who would much rather have a genuine relationship with someone than become friend number 486 on a Facebook page.

“This is a matter of eternity, not just the here and now.”

Aaron Kurtz

Coming off my article last week, I feel it is necessary to explain why I believe God is the only one who is worth living for, why only He will ever completely fulfill your life. To do so, I am going to attempt to explain the validity of the Christian faith. Over the next few weeks, I plan on talking about our positions as humans, the reality and deity of Jesus Christ, and why only Christ saves. Today, though, I want to explain the validity of the Bible. First, I want you all to know I am no scholar. I have done research on this subject and have listened to some people who are

The Herald welcomes letters to the editor in electronic form and under 300 words. We reserve the right to edit for space. Please e-mail letters to: jeffrey.davidson@smail.astate.edu sara.krimm@smail.astate.edu

to be as close to its original form than any other ancient writing. This means that the Bible is hard to tamper with, and it makes it difficult for people to add or detract from it without being caught. Having established that the Bible has great historical reliability, it’s important to look at how it is divinely inspired. The Bible was written by forty different men over a span of 1,600 years, and yet it maintains a single theme. That theme is that a perfect God came to save a fallen creation. You might say the Bible is rife with contradictions, but I would say this is untrue. However, if you do believe the Bible has mistakes and contradictions, I invite you to make those known. There has been much debate over this issue, and

it would be good for us to investigate these things together. However, considering the fact that many different men, from different times and different stations of life, were able to compile a text with a single, consistent message, you can’t tell me there was not some higher power overlooking the transcription. I realize this may not seem like a strong argument. I realize a 500-word article is not enough to conclusively prove the validity of a text that has been debated for so long. My main point of writing this article is to get people thinking. This is a matter of eternity, not just the here and now. Don’t let something that will change your life go uninvestigated. Kurtz is a sophomore education major of Little Rock.

“While technology is not necessarily a bad thing, it has changed the way we function, and some of the effects are not all that great.” Beth Bright

Think of just how many hours a day you spend immersed in technology. How many texts do you send out? What about tweets? How many stations do you have on Pandora? It’s hard to think of giving all of these things up, but according to Jake Reilly’s “Amish Project,” it can be done. For 90 days Reilly, a 24-year-old student at Chicago Portfolio School, unplugged from all forms of social media to first see if he could live without it. However, it quickly turned into a project to reclaim his social relationships that had grown somewhat stale. In an article with Yahoo

Letters to the Editor

much smarter than I am explain this subject. That said, let’s jump in. It’s important to start by comparing the manuscript evidence of the Bible with other ancient writings. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, has over 20,000 ancient pieces of manuscript, in many different languages. Granted, some of these are fragments or parts of writings, but many are books of the Bible in their entirety. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain the entire account of Isaiah. This is especially noteworthy because of the prophecies of Isaiah about Christ. Considering texts like “The Iliad” and writings from famous Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato have fewer than 1,000 manuscripts to back up their reliability, it seems to me that the Bible has the greatest potential

The 90-day challenge: unplugging from technology

“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of Arkansas State University.

The Herald is located in Room 224 of the Communications Building.

The Herald is a public forum. Its content is written by students, for students, faculty and staff of Arkansas State University. Student editors of The Herald have the authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval.

News, Reilly explained how taking on this challenge allowed him to find out who his true friends were. Those he spent hours a day texting were soon gone, and those he rarely got to see were the ones he spent most of his time with. It’s funny how those things work out. As I’ve said in the past, social media and technology are great things, but they’ve certainly changed how we as a society look at social situations. While technology is not necessarily a bad thing, it has changed the way we function, and some of the effects are not all that great. These are just some of the comments I’ve heard people say: “I’d rather text than call,” or “It’s so weird to see my Facebook friends in real-life.” It is as if they are celebrities or Sims or

something. While I know I’m definitely guilty of this, I constantly wonder why we’re so scared of human interaction. The biggest problem I see is that we already know everything about a person from their social media. We know what all they like to do, we know who they’re dating and why they break up, and we know exactly where to find them at any given time (for all you people who check-in everywhere). So why talk to them? You already know their story. But then again, we all post what we want others to see of ourselves and that can be a very distorted view. I appreciate the project because it gave me insight into something I’m not quite ready to tackle – cutting myself off from in-

stant communication, but I think it’s something we all need to consider. Even if we just cut back a few hours or unplug our routers, getting to know people again for more than what we see on Facebook and Twitter could be beneficial to all of our lives. So next time you get an urge to text someone to see how they are doing, try a call first and see if that brightens both of your days. Next time you go to creep on someone’s wall, ask them out to coffee so you can see them in person instead. Social media has made interaction effortless and non-existent, but if we put forth the effort to reconnect, there may be hope for our social skills. Bright is a junior photojournalism major of Hot Springs.

Having a senior moment Name: Carlton Graves

Hometown: Hope

Major: Business Administration

Favorite College Memory: Being crowned 2010 ASU Homecoming King

Plans after Graduation: Enter the management and training program for Sam’s Club and then run my own club, and later advance into the corporate office.

The Herald is published twice weekly during the fall and spring semesters and is distributed around the Jonesboro campus. Its content is normally written by students. “Our View” represents the opinions of the editorial staff. Columns, letters to the editor, cartoons and other content on the opinion page are the views of the author. Content does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Herald. Editorial Number (870) 972-3076 www.asuherald.com

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PAGE 3

NEWS

Monday, Feb. 6

The Herald

GLOBAL, CONTINUED spring, and he decided to go on the exact same trip this year. “I applied for this trip because I have a minor in Spanish and I love anything that involves international travel.” Marotti said. “My expectations for this trip are really high because this time, I believe our group will positively impact Salinas Village in a more permanent and efficient manner.” Kara Jacks, a junior international business major of Lonoke, also went to Ecuador last year and is going on the same trip this year. “Going to Ecuador was beneficial for me because I got to see a small part of the world’s economy and how it differs from the United States,” Jacks said. “Going back with the experience that I gained from last year, I'm hoping that we can bring more new and fresh ideas that can help the businesses thrive and expand.” Jacks also said the global leadership experience is important because it gives people a chance to see the world and gives them a chance to become a global citizen. Associate professor of environmental economics, Gauri Shankar Guha, who coordinates the trip to India, said students will have three different types of experiences in India. One of them is a cultural experience visiting the Taj Mahal, and another is an educational experience interacting with faculty and students at the School of Management in Pondicherry, visiting labs and classrooms. Students will also have the opportunity to do service projects by working

with artisans in micro industries, making silk and handicrafts. “Our students will work for free and if possible bring back some handicrafts, sell them locally, and remit the monies to the micro-companies.” Guha said. “Service leadership is most important, because this gives us an opportunity to create a positive image about ASU in the minds of the local people.” Guha said one of his aims on this trip is taking the ASU brand to the world. He said if ASU students help people in the country, then those people will be interested in and think of ASU when they want to come to the United States to study. “That is the strategy of building a brand,” Guha said. He also talked about the international business theory. This means that before people start selling something in different countries, they should go there and grow the product in the country first. According to Woodruff, about 18 students are planning to go on the trip to Ecuador, about five students are planning to go to India and about 10 students are planning to go to Sri Lanka. Relyea said the deadline for the application for the Ecuador trip has already passed, but anyone at ASU can apply for the rest of the trips. Woodruff said each trip usually costs about $2,500, and can be acquired through fundraising. For the India trip, Guha said it will cost only $1,000. “We look for students who are very driven and who really want to have an impact,” Woodruff said.

Fans show thier dedication during Thursday’s men’s basketball game against Louisiana-Monroe at the ASU Convocation Center..

To show support during Pride Day, the financial office painted its windows red and decorated its office with red and black streamer. Sophomore communications studies of Falcon miss essence, Latasha Moore, was one of many “crazy” fans showing their love for the Red Wolves.

Staci Vandagriff/Herald

PRIDE, CONTINUED “Pride and tradition makes this award unique. To honor someone with a rich legacy at Arkansas State University makes this award special. This recipient not only has shown his spirit at ASU but also continues to go above and beyond to represent our university in the Jonesboro community on the national level,” Wilbanks said. “For his commitment to the students of Arkansas State University, it is my pleasure to present Howl with the Scarlet Bella Award.” The third award handed out was the Howler Award, presented by

Colea Blan. The Howler award is meant for teachers, mentors, advisers or coaches who show potential and interest in their students. This year’s winner was Rick Neeley, chair of the department of communication disorders. “He persistently demonstrates a willingness to serve students as an adviser and mentor. Not only does he support students of communication disorders, but he is also very helpful to many nursing majors as well. No matter what time of the day, he is always determined to help his stu-

dents reach their goals and answer their questions,” Blan said. His nominators, Casey Hosman and Hillary Tripod, were there to accept his award since he was unable to attend. The Alpha Award, which was presented by SAB president Jonece Carter, was given to the Hinton family. “This award is given to a family or organization that has faithfully exhibited their superb support for ASU through the donation of time, gifts or talent,” Carter said. “It is through such notable acts of generosity that

the university continues to grow as an institution of higher education.“ The last award was given out after the men’s basketball game that night against Louisiana Monroe. The craziest fan award went to freshman Kara Franklin of Benton. The leadership center teamed up with athletic marketing and provided the winner with $100 as a prize. A slideshow from pride day and the competitions can be found at www. asuherald.com and on the ASU Herald’s Facebook page.

2012 McNair Scholars Announced Staci Vandagriff/Herald

FACULTY, CONTINUED property of ASU. It says, "the author has voluntarily transferred the copyright by accepting employment with the University or by entering into a contract for work for hire." Daniel Marburger, professor of economics, was not happy with the revised policy. He gathered information and presented it in the meeting. He said that copyright law was designed to protect ideas. Hiring a company to write an instructors’ manual for computer software that an individual designed does not mean the company copyrights the software, but that the individual hired that company to do that which is called a work for hire relationship. Marburger insisted that faculty and students developing “intellectual property” is not a work for hire relationship. Online classes are a good source of income. Marburger suggests that an underlying reason for this revised policy is specifically for online class production. A complete online class with power

points and notes is worth a pretty penny. “I’m not sure if making money from online classes is the university’s intention, but the information I have suggests that it may very well be,” he said. The senate questioned if the policy was legal in nature, that ASU has the power to make revenue from their ideas without having any input. The senate talked about the poor media coverage ASU will receive if the revised policy were to be adopted. Predictions of messy litigation were mentioned. Throughout the years, ASU has been pushing to have more research come from its faculty and students. “I think this is discouraging research rather than encouraging it,” said John Hall, professor of psychology and counseling. Some of the faculty were okay with the current policy, but still felt as though the current policy could use some clarification. They pointed out confusing language and claimed it to be a mess.

Photo courtesy of Laura Kuizin

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Programs. The program is designed to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented college students who pursue and complete a doctoral degree in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or Psychology disciplines. The program prepares undergraduates for doctoral study through involvement in research and scholarly activities. The purpose of the McNair Program is to assist in the academic and professional development of undergraduates whose goals are to earn a Ph.D., and teach and conduct research at the college level. McNair Scholars selected include: *Tara Banks, Computer Science and Mathematics; Hannah Blair, Wildlife Ecol-

ogy and Management; *Jon Calhoun, Computer Science and Mathematics; *Charmaine Conner, Psychology; Samantha Davis, Biology, Pre-Professional; Cheyenne Gerdes, Wildlife Ecology and Management; *Alisha Gilmer, Chemistry, Pre-Pharmacy; Jasmine Jackson, Psychology; Kayleigh Lincomfelt, Civil Engineering; Star Loerch, Wildlife Ecology and Management; *Edith Martinez, Civil Engineering; Jerry Maupin, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics; *Carson Munn, Electrical Engineering; *Tabitha Reynolds, Psychology; *Skye Roberson, Psychology and Physiology; *Lauren Tyler, Psychology; Laura White, Mathematics; Farrann Wilkinson, Psychology; Alexander Worm, Wildlife Ecology and Management; *Shaela Wright, Biology (* indicates Researcher)


PAGE 4

Monday, Feb. 6

SPORTS

The Herald

Nelvins and Meyer among top finishers Arkansas prospects central to Malzahn’s at Orange and Blue Open in Illinois recruiting ground plan for Red Wolves Daniel McFadin Sports Editor

ASU Press Release The Arkansas State track and field teams returned to action Saturday at the Orange & Blue Open hosted by the University of Illinois. Junior thrower Julia Agawu finished second in both the weight throw (17.64m) and the shot put, but her throw of 14.33m in the shot put was the second-longest throw in Arkansas State history. Sophomore Richard Chavez was the top collegiate finisher in the men’s shot put with a throw of 17.02m. Sophomore hurdler Sherika Nelvins finished first in both the preliminaries and the final of the women’s 60-meter hurdles posting times of 8.32 and 8.31 respectively. Sophomore Shane Heathcock was fourth overall but was the top collegiate finisher in the men’s pole vault with a jump of 5.19m. Sophomore Will Oliver continued his string of solid performances winning the men’s long jump with a jump of 7.24m. The Red Wolves got solid finishes in both the men’s and women’s 400 and 800-meter runs. Sophomore Joseph Meyer won the men’s 400 with a time of 48.97, while Allyson Perry was second in the women’s 400 at 1:00.22.

Chelsea Weaver/Herald

Joseph Meyer competes in the men’s 400 run at the Orange and Blue Open in Champaigne, Ill., Meyer ran a time of 48.97 to capture first place.

ASU also took second place finishes in the men’s and women’s 800 as freshman Tilda Helgesson posted a time of 2:23.85 and junior Robert Lanier had a time of 1:59.97. ASU’s distance runners also ran well on Saturday, as senior Bailey Bunyan was the top collegiate finisher in the men’s 3K with a time of 8:37.20. Sophomore Kristina Au-

bert was second in the women’s 3K and led three top 10 finishers for the Red Wolves. Aubert clocked a time of 9:59.24 followed by junior Samantha Salinas in fifth (10:15.54) and senior Chelsea Weaver in seventh (10:19.93). ASU will compete in the Indiana Hoosier Hills on Friday in Bloomington, Ind.

Rain Dance

Gus Malzahn and his choaching staff didn’t have all that much time to assemble their first coaching staff at Arkansas State compared to other schools. From the day of his hire on Dec. 14 to National Signing Day last Wednesday, the first year head coach had 50 days to assemle his staff and give their best pitch to prospective Red Wolves. “I don’t know if I had any expectations,” offensive coodinator Rhett Lashlee said. “We hit the ground running so fast, you get thrown into it and you just go. “My first day on the job I had my press conference here and I was in Little Rock seeing Fredi [Knighten] that night and I saw Dezmond [Stegall] that same night as well.” Malzahn worked so hard, that at his press conference on the eve of the GoDaddy. com Bowl on Jan. 7, he said he’d only spent three days in Jonesboro, enough time to familiarize himself with the driving route from his new home to the ASU football facility.

With the staff being on the road for much of the last two months, it helped having David Gunn, a 10year veteran of the Arkansas State program, helping to keep recruits committed. “Of course David Gunn gave us a little list of the guys and we just tried to scramble and figure out as much information as possible,” Malzahn said. “At the same time, the coaches that had connections, that’s where we started and I told my staff that if it’s close, we’re going with an Arkansas guy and that will be our philosophy the whole time we’re here.” That home state mentality paid off, with 14 new players being added to the ranks of Red Wolves that originate from the Natural State. While the most high profile athlete is Michael Dyer (Little Rock) and his transfer from Auburn, ASU is now home to offensive linemen Jemar Clark (McCrory) and Kansas transfer Travis Bodenstein from Springdale, where Malzahn coached at both Shiloah Christian and Springdale

High. “He’s got the ability to play at the next level past this if he works hard,” Malzahn said of Clark, who is ranked the sixth best player in the state by Rivals.com. Bodenstein will sit out an year due to NCAA transfer rules. Other Arkansas natives include Quanterio Heath and Maruis Walker of Rison, Colton Jackson (Ozark), Derek Keaton (Camden), Warren Leapheart (Morrilton), Darius Rosser (Marion), Dezmond Stegall (Searcy), DeKeathan Williams (West Helena), Austin Moreton (Fort Smith) and kicker Luke Ferguson who is walking on from Jonesboro High. The biggest in-state recruit was quarterback Fredi Knigten from Little Rock. “He was one of the priorities that we had as a staff when we first got here. We really felt that he was the key to this whole thing, Malzhan said. “I’ve sat there and really was what [Michigan quarterback] Denard Robinson can do and he can actually throw it better than Denard Robinson can.”

Sports Headlines • Brandon Joiner named Defenisve MVP of All-Star Classic after earning two sacks. • ASU women’s tennis loses first Sun Belt match of season to Denver, 6-1 • ASU bowling finishes third at Prairie View A&M Invitational with a 10-3 record.

What the howl? The NFL’s MVP vs Reality Zach Lott Staff Writer

Travis Sharp/Herald

Arkansas State Rugby club players tangle with players from Emory University Saturday afternoon at the ASU Rugby Field. Arkansas State’s B-side team defeated Emory University 68-0 in their first game of the season. The A-Side’s first game will be at home against the University of Arkansas Feb. 11.

ASU falls 75-69 in final non-conference game against Seattle Redhawks ASU Press Release Arkansas State men’s basketball fell in its final nonconference contest at Seattle Saturday night 7569 at the KeyArena. The loss drops ASU to 10-15 while Seattle improved to 6-13 on the year. Senior forward Malcoln Kirkland led three Red Wolves in double-digit scoring with 14. Junior forward Brandon Peterson recorded his ninth career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. It was Peterson’s fourth double-double of the season while he also recorded three blocked shots. Junior guard Adam Sterrenberg came off the bench to score 13 for ASU.

The Red Wolves trailed by 12 early in the second half but went on an 7-0 run to cut the lead to four 48-44 early in the first half. It was a single-digit lead through most of the game and when sophomore Kinley OgbonnayaBranch hit a three-pointer with 14-seconds remaining in the game, ASU cut the lead to four again, 7369. But, ASU was forced to foul and Seattle’s Cervante Burrell connected on his free throws. Seattle built a 10-point lead at the half, 46-36. The Redhawks shot 54.3 percent from the floor in the half connecting on 19-35 shots from the floor. Burrell scored 15 points going 6-6 from the floor in the

half for the Redhawks. At the break, ASU was 14-15 (93.3 percent) from the free throw line and 1028 from the floor (35.8 percent). Peterson and sophomore guard Ed Townsel led A-State at the half with eight points each. Peterson also led ASU with six rebounds, including four offensive boards. Seattle outshot ASU 51.7 percent (30-58) to 38.9 percent (21-54) and outrebounded the Red Wolves 36-30. Cervante finished the game with a career-high 24 points for Seattle, leading all scorers. The Red Wolves return to Sun Belt Conference action Thursday when they travel to South Alabama.

By the time you read this, the world will know the winner of Super Bowl XLVI. The media, eternal slaves to the notion that individual players are judged by their championship rings, has either crowned Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all time or elevated Eli Manning above his brother, Peyton. Neither proclamation will be true, but it clearly demonstrates the obsession sportswriters have with attributing the play of an entire team to one person. After all, Aaron Rodgers single-handedly led the Packers to 15 wins this season, right? Well, one would assume so the way the media has come just short of deifying him. Rodgers was named league MVP Saturday despite the fact that his backup, Matt Flynn, stepped in for him during a Week 17 matchup against the Lions and set franchise records for passing yards and touchdowns in a game. If your team is so good that your offense has its best day of the year without you under center, then you are in no way

the most valuable player in the NFL. You aren’t even the most valuable player on your team. But in the sports world, context is not important. Rodgers’ cartoonish numbers and 15-1 record are credited solely to him, without regard for the fact that he plays in a superb offensive system with an excellent coaching staff and perhaps the greatest receiving corps in history. He is a good quarterback playing on a great team. Meanwhile, Brady has long been the beneficiary of a great offensive system. He consistently has one of the best offensive lines in football and a strong cast of skill players. When he gets protection and his wide receivers get open, he is good. When he gets crushed by elite defensive ends and linebackers and doesn’t

have time to dump the ball off to Wes Welker, he doesn’t play well. Shocking, isn’t it? When he suffered a serious knee injury in Week 1 of the 2008 season, he was replaced by Matt Cassel, who hadn’t started a game since high school. The Patriots went on to win 11 games. Like Rodgers, Tom Brady is a good quarterback playing on a great team. If championships are the only standard by which players are judged, then Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson and Jim McMahon were all better quarterbacks than Dan Marino. Football is a team sport, and very few players are capable of elevating a mediocre team into a great one. Peyton Manning does that, but because he has only one championship ring he will forever be seen as Brady’s inferior. But when Manning went down and missed the entire 2011 season, his Colts, previously a perennial Super Bowl contender guaranteed to win at least ten games a year, came within 17 points of being winless. Who is the most valuable player in the NFL? The answer seems obvious to me.

The Herald for Feb. 6  

The Herald for Feb. 6