If you live, breathe and bleed pro football, you probably followed with interest the saga of Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing, who won, then lost, then won again the NFL Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year over the past few weeks. Cushing was reported to have taken a banned substance last season in drug testing results, yet kept appealing the punishment in order that he might finish the season. He was the overwhelming winner in the voting done by the Associated Press, far ahead of Buffalo Bills safety, Jairus Byrd.
However, once the testing results were revealed, the NFL decided to strip him of his award and have a re-vote, yet inexplicably left Cushing on the ballot for the second vote. Cushing retained the award, with a marginal victory over Byrd, although not by the landslide that the first vote was.
Unfortunately, there were no Ravens who received votes on the defensive side of the voting, as the only rookies who received any significant playing time on our defense were CB Lardarius Webb and LB Dannell Ellerbe.
Of the 50 writers from the Associated Press, 19 changed their original vote and did not vote for Cushing in the re-vote. One voter who did not vote for Cushing in the first ballot, did so in the second vote. While Cushing won the first vote by 19 votes over Byrd, he only won by five in the second vote. Cushing's teammate Clay Matthews (LB-Green Bay Packers) finished third. The only other players besides these three that received votes were Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo and St. Louis Rams LB James Laurinaitis Three voters abstained from the re-vote, perhaps to either protest the process or because they felt Cushing deserved the award but would not cast a vote for him after the test results were released.
For whatever reason, while there are more than one writer from some cities, there is absolutely no one representing Baltimore in the AP vote. I wonder why not and what could be done to get our city represented? Here is the complete list of writers and who they voted for both times:
KEPT BRIAN CUSHING (17)Don Banks, Sports Illustrated.com Bob Berger, Sporting News Radio Chris Berman, ESPN Steve Cohen, Sirius Satellite Radio Frank Cooney, SportsXChange Mark Craig, Minneapolis Star Tribune Tom Curran, Comcast Sportsnet Vinny Ditrani, The Record Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News Paul Gutierrez, Sacramento Bee Clark Judge, CBSSports.com John McClain, Houston Chronicle Gary Myers, New York Daily News Danny O'Neil, Seattle Times Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com Adam Teicher, Kansas City Star Charean Williams Fort Worth Star-Telegram KEPT JAIRUS BYRD (4)Brian Allee-Walsh, New Orleans.com Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News Ashley Fox, Philadelphia Inquirer Armando Salguero, Miami Herald KEPT CLAY MATTHEWS (3)Jim Corbett, USA Today Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer Kent Somers, Arizona Republic CHANGED TO BRIAN CUSHING (1)Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jairus Byrd) CHANGED FROM BRIAN CUSHING (19)Jarrett Bell, USA Today (Jairus Byrd) Clifton Brown, The Sporting News (Jairus Byrd) Rich Cimini, New York Daily News (Clay Matthews) John Clayton, ESPN The Magazine (Clay Matthews) Bob Costas, HBO/NBC Sports (Clay Matthews) John Czarnecki, Fox Sports (Brian Orakpo)Boomer Esiason, CBS/Westwood One (Jairus Byrd) Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News (Jairus Byrd) Nancy Gay, AOL Fanhouse (Jairus Byrd) Bob Glauber, Newsday (Jairus Byrd) Dave Goldberg, AOL Fanhouse (Clay Matthews) Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune (Jairus Byrd) Peter King, Sports Illustrated (Clay Matthews) Matt Maiocco, Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Clay Matthews) Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com (Jairus Byrd) Pat McManamon, Akron Beacon Journal (Jairus Byrd) Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune (Clay Matthews) Adam Schein, Sirius NFL Radio (Brian Orakpo) Frank Schwab, Colorado Springs Gazette (Clay Matthews) ABSTAINED (3)Howie Long, Fox Sports Chris Mortensen, ESPN Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Note: All had Cushing in the original balloting. CHANGED FROM JAIRUS BYRD (2)Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Brian Cushing) David Elfin, Washington Times (Brian Orakpo) CHANGED FROM BRIAN ORAKPO (2)Howard Balzer, Fox Sports Net (James Laurinaitis) Len Shapiro, Miami Herald (Clay Matthews)