By Max Liebel
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – We as consumers and fans have entered the age of the fan vote and nobody has been able to perfect it. Often times fans either hold too much power to the point of diluting the award and any legitimacy it holds or the vote means nothing and there’s backlash from viewers. For instance when Mac Miller won the fan vote for best rap album of this year’s Grammy Awards, many people were up in arms that he did not receive the award and that it was given to Cardi B. out of the five nominees, 60 percent of the fans that voted, voted for Millers final album “Swimming.” This raises the question: is fan voting even necessary in something like the Grammys?
Fan voting was integrated into many award shows after a majority of fans who were buying the albums and keeping the industry alive wanted to have a say in who or what won awards. However, an award like the Grammy’s might as well be left to the press and committee to vote on the winners if this is how the fan vote is to continue.
However, in other realms of fan voting, fans often hold too much power to the point of diluting an honor. The NFL Pro Bowl (the leagues all-star game) used to hold a great deal of prestige and weight when it came to looking at a players resume. Nowadays fans hold more than one-third of the vote and this has changed a once prestigious honor into a popularity contest. A number of All-Pro players, which is the leagues highest honor, have been left out of fan favorites since the vote was instituted. What was once a relevant feather in the cap is now third or fourth when we think about NFL honors.
On the opposite end of the sports fan vote spectrum is the fact that some of the voting committees can’t seem to get it right or put enough weight into the fan vote. For example, over 2 million fans this year voted for rookie phenom Luka Doncic to make the all-star game and deservingly so. Doncic is a fan favorite. He has multiple game-winning and highlight reel plays in his rookie year and the stats to back it up. Doncic averaged 20 points 5 assists and 7 rebounds this year.
It seems that no matter the award or award show, fan voting is nothing more than a way to stimulate fan interest in the award shows. However, they haven’t done themselves any favors as more and more fans groan when award season or the all-star break approaches. One thing’s for certain: you won’t catch me at the polls.