In Defense of Jared Odrick (or Up Yours, Rittenberg)

[Formatted this a little for you. - RUTS]

I can't take it anymore.

Okay, I know it has been awhile, but I have just got done with playoffs, and have really been trying to get 6 months worth of neglections taken care of around the house. I have been wanting to make another post recently but was not sure what to write about. Well thanks to Adam Rittenberg I now have that topic. Like many of you Jared Odrick's DPOY award came as a bit of a surprise to me, not because he did not deserve the award, but because I felt he would be overlooked, and that his value to the Nittany Lion's defense would not be appreciated. I was mistaken and the value #91 brought to the defense was appreciated and rewarded by the coaches vote. The media on the other hand made a "Sexy" pick and choose Greg Jones.

That is fine, the media is free to choose its own selection and there is nothing wrong with that choice. But what bothers me and led me to pick up my electronic quill was the following article by ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. I am not going to get into the pissing match of what is Rittenberg's agenda, that has been discussed ad nauseam on the boards here and at, but I will say that he is totally off base in his assumption that Odrick was a "puzzling pick". The coaches selected Odrick, and that shows a level of understanding about what his value was to the PSU defense. These are men who spend hours and hours in the film room, hours meeting to discuss game planning, and then on top of it all, and this will surprise some readers, ACTUALLY KNOW FOOTBALL BETTER THAN ALL OF US COMBINED.

These guys must have saw something on film that led them to vote for Odrick. These guys watch games on mute, and let the flow of the play and the results on the field dictate their actions. Odrick's play on the field, devoid of senseless commentary (did you know Royster played Lacrosse?), led the coaches to vote him as DPOY. These guys must have felt that in order to win against PSU they would have to start by handling Odrick. That sucked up two of your offensive lineman, which left 4-5 players left to block 6 others. Three of those defenders were linebackers, the great job Josh Hull did this year can be attributed to some degree to the phenomenal play of JO.

Bottom line is JO made everyone around him better, and was a force the coaches felt made a big difference on PSU's defense. I think I will trust career football men, over ball following media members (remember the media's preseason OPOY?). So Adam Rittenberg here is an open message to you (and I know you are a reader here) get off the PSU hate wagon and recognize the great job Odrick did this year.

This was posted today on Rittenberg's Blog you can find the article here.

Scott from Sanibel, Fla., writes: Re your comment about PSU down the stretch: You failed to mention how PSU did against Minnesota, Michigan and Northwestern (all in the second half of the season). I agree that Iowa should go to a BCS bowl, but your bias continues to show. Please try to be more objective. Thanks.
Adam Rittenberg: Penn State certainly took care of business against those teams, and deserves credit for doing so. I realize I'm not very popular among Penn State fans this year -- as opposed to last year, when they loved me for acknowledging the team's obvious success -- but when it comes to the on-field argument, I'm not going to sugarcoat things. Iowa has the edge. It doesn't mean I hate Penn State, just like it doesn't mean I don't think Jared Odrick is a great player even though I disagreed with him being Big Ten Defensive POY. The Lions had a nice season. They also lack a signature win. Those are the objective facts.

Rittenberg, Rittenberg, Rittenberg, you want to throw objective facts around now? Iowa has an edge? If the teams lined up on the last week of the season and played that game who do you feel would win? I doubt it would turn out to be the same score we saw on a wet and raining night in September. We loved you last year for telling us how great we were? No, we loved you because you didn't openly campaign against our team, and take shots at our BCS credibility every time you got a chance. Then on top of it all you imply that you know more about what defensive player was the best in the Big Ten this year than the coaches who gameplan and feel the pulse of their teams. Come on Rittenberg you can do better, you are starting to sound like a younger Dodd.

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