Fan Voting Must Stop: DeSean Jackson Awarded Best NFL Play of All Time

By Devin O'Barr
DeSean Jackson with a return
Alan Maglaque-USA TODAY Sports

In the world of the internet there seems to be a new poll everyday that allows this technology-crazed generation to define history and denote something or someone “the best of all time.” I have been screaming for years that the MLB and NBA should not leave the fate of All-Stars and All-Pro’s in the hands of the fans. Hopefully, after voters made a mockery of the NFL by voting DeSean Jackson‘s punt return the best play in league history, more of the population will agree with me.

I understand that the fan is the one who pays to enter the park and buys countless team merchandise, but they should not be given the opportunity to decide the fate of such large debates. With over 64 plays to choose, $58M folks decided that a Week 16 punt return by Jackson against the New York Giants was the greatest play of all time — keep in mind this play was in the regular season. The Giants would lose this game, but New York currently has four championships while the Philadelphia Eagles appear far away from their first.

Speaking of the Giants, I am sure that the catch David Tyree made in Super Bowl XLII is twice as memorable than a return that did not even come in the postseason: One of these plays decided the biggest game in America and one was a gimmick. Surely, the fascination of the new and shiny sparked such high numbers towards Jackson, but even in a world that is YouTube-fascinated this is an enormous slap in the face.

Travesties like this happen each and every day, however nothing gets my blood boiling more than when fans are given the responsibility of pegging All-Stars and All-Pros. Players like Yao Ming and Alex Rodriguez are prime examples of athletes who get voted in simply on notoriety and not on the field production. Ming was voted to the 2011 All-Star game after scoring 51 points in just five games, go figure.

This is not the first time that we have been disappointed with moronic voters and it will not be the last if fans are the deciding factor in major polls. Jackson’s play ranks in the teens in terms of greatest plays in NFL history, but until the fan vote is eliminated the actual greats will be tarnished with every click of the button.

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