MVP award to be announced at Super Bowl

In what is a major departure from previous years, the Associated Press won’t reveal the winner of the 2010 NFL Most Valuable Player Award until hours before the Super Bowl on Feb. 6. And it will be done on the NFL Network.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the favorite to win the award, which is voted on by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters, for the second time.

Last year, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was awarded his fourth MVP award on Jan. 9. The previous year he won it on Jan. 3.

The MVP and other awards are solely based on regular-season play so it made sense to announce them near the conclusion of the season.

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An email sent to AP sports editor Terry Taylor seeking comment on the change was not immediately returned. But Paul Colford, the director of media relations for AP, did release a statement.

“We have an opportunity this year to do something special with the awards and with the NFL so they’ll be announced closer to the Super Bowl,” Colford said.

It’s unclear when the other awards administered by the AP — offensive and defensive players of the year, offensive and defensive rookies of the year, comeback player of the year, coach of the year and the All-Pro team — will be revealed.