And yes, if words like "endorsing" make this sound like a political ad, in many ways it is. Just like the Academy Awards and the race for the White House, things like NFL RotY are popularity contests. People vote based on what they think is the "best," and rarely is that opinion backed up with in-depth analysis or research.
Often, it is superficial. Ex: Look at RG3's QB rating!
Two ESPN employees jumped into the discussion recently and offered their 2 cents. Thankfully, it broke from the droning norm.
Paul Kuharsky, who covers the AFC South for ESPN, writing for ESPN.com:
Andrew Luck has thrown too many interceptions in his rookie season. His stat line is hardly cause for a parade. He dug himself some holes. But leading his team to 10 wins, seven of them in comeback fashion, and getting into the playoffs does a lot to reduce the importance of those turnovers. He showed a great talent for climbing out of those holes. He was capable of digesting everything the first time around, handling Bruce Arians’ very vertical offense, the absence of coach Chuck Pagano, an often ineffective defense and a less-than-watertight offensive line with aplomb.
Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have strong cases for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, which may never have been so hotly contested. We may see all three rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs. In the AFC South, Luck is the quarterback who was asked to do the most from the start, and he was the quarterback who did the most. Rookie receiver T.Y. Hilton is already a good player for the Colts. If you took Hilton and put him on the Titans or the Jaguars, how would he fare? Nowhere near as well as he fared playing with Luck in their first years in the NFL, I feel certain.
In my opinion, Andrew Luck should win it because he's come to a lesser team, when you think about. The Washington Redskins already had a head coach and the coordinator was in place. They had an offense and a defense [in place]. Same thing up in Seattle. I'm not saying that Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin haven't done a marvelous job, but the fact is this young man followed Peyton Manning. We were there, last year, we were there at the Super Bowl last year in Indy, and folks in Indy were nervous about Peyton Manning leaving and getting a rookie quarterback. They're in rebuild mode. We said "rebuild." It wasn't "refurbish." It wasn't "do a little paint job and some redecorating work." It was rebuild an offense and a defense. A new head coach. That head coach gets leukemia. [Luck] is following Peyton Manning. And, right now, they are in the playoffs with 10 wins. No one predicted this. No analyst. Nobody.
It's interesting that both Edwards and Kuharsky share our opinion on Luck being the most deserving recipient of the RotY award, and for similar reasons. Even Bleacher Report's Matt Miller (yes, that Bleacher Report) thinks it should be Luck:
This, of course, means I have to give Matt Miller and big, fat, sloppy kiss agreeing with me, Herm, and Kuharsky, to which Matt replied:
@stampedeblue Sounds like a date.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) December 28, 2012
/looks for wife's lipstick & coupon to Shapiro's Deli
[UPDATE]: As readers have pointed out, both Ashely Fox of ESPN and Adam Schien of NFL.com both think Luck deserves ORotY award. In fact, Schein thinks Luck is the league's MVP! Jim Miller, former Bears and Steelers QB and current SIRIUS NFL radio host, also thinks Luck should win the ORotY award.