NFL at 100: The time the MVP award went to a kicker

Yes, this really happened

Photo by Getty Images
Photo by Getty Images

This didn’t actually happen, did it? 

Yes it did, and it will likely never happen again in the history of the National Football League.

Believe it or not, a kicker actually was once named the league’s most valuable player. 

Not a quarterback or a running back who produces touchdowns, but a kicker who attempted just an average of more than two field goals a game.

It’s akin to a pinch hitter winning an MVP award in baseball, or a sixth man (first player off of the bench to replace a starter) in the NBA being named league MVP. 

But the year was 1982, when a players strike muddled the entire complexion of the league’s schedule. 

Instead of a 16-game schedule, the league was reduced to playing a nine-game schedule during the regular season, and the Washington Redskins thrived in the abbreviated season.

The Redskins went 8-1 during the regular season and continued that dominance in four playoff games, ultimately winning its first Super Bowl title with a 27-17 win over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. 

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