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NFL's biggest joke about to be exposed

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  • NFL's biggest joke about to be exposed

    I thought this was an interesting and fun article, so I thought I would share:


    Article by Kevin Hench

    Not since Tony Montana arrived in the Mariel Boatlift has Miami welcomed such an unredeemed entity.

    Say hello to my very, very little friend: the 2010 Pro Bowl.

    The weakest, lamest, least compelling of all All-Star games, the Pro Bowl has long been a pimple carefully hidden on the NFL’s posterior (after the season, off the mainland).

    Then some braniac thought, What if we could move it to the middle of our forehead?

    Yes, Roger Goodell has yanked the Pro Bowl out of the witness protection program -- where it belongs -- and placed it center stage in Miami on the Sunday between the conference title games and the Super Bowl.

    Sure, an event that is supposed to showcase the most talented players in the sport won’t feature anyone from either of the two most talented teams in the league, but why nitpick?

    Who knows, maybe the All-Pros on the Colts (7) and Saints (7) used the lure of having a built-in excuse to miss this goofy exhibition as motivation in their playoff runs. Though they won’t be playing, the 14 Pro Bowlers on the Super Bowl teams will be required to be in the stadium the night of the game or forfeit their Pro Bowl checks. Yep, the league has to bribe its own players to watch this game.

    Between injuries, indifference and prep for SB XLIV, less than two-thirds of the originally named Pro Bowlers will play in the game.

    Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Brett Favre have joined Peyton Manning and Drew Brees on the unavailable-to-participate-in-pointless-spectacle list. (Ben Roethlisberger got out ahead of this one when Steeler team doctors recommended he decline the “honor.”) If one more QB had balked, the next invite was going to be Keanu Reeves.

    At receiver in the NFC, Larry Fitzgerald was replaced in the starting lineup by reserve Sidney Rice who was subsequently replaced by Roddy White. In the AFC, both Patriot stud receivers will miss the game, one with a serious knee injury (Wes Welker), the other (Randy Moss) with one of those injuries that flared up the moment the real games ended.

    At the rate players have been bailing on this Pro Bowl they may be playing eight-on-eight come kickoff.

    So who’s left?

    Just when you thought exhibition tackle football couldn’t get any less meaningful, David Garrard -- fresh off a 15-TD, 10-INT season -- is a Pro Bowler. Maybe the Jags wouldn’t have been playing in front of a sea of empty seats every week if their fans had known their QB was having a Pro Bowl season.

    That’s right, the No. 1 criterion for a quarterback to make the Pro Bowl is no longer QB rating, TDs or total yards. It’s willingness to participate.

    Garrard will join Vince Young on the AFC sideline. The sideline is where Young spent the first six weeks of the season. But once Young went under center for the Titans he started posting numbers. Not big numbers, nor particularly impressive numbers, but numbers nonetheless.

    Young finished 22nd in the league in completion percentage, 18th in QB rating and 23rd in TD-to-attempt ratio, right behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. In other words, Roger Goodell’s kind of Pro Bowler! (Young did finish several spots ahead of Garrard in TD-to-attempt ratio as the Jags’ QB threw an astounding 34.4 passes for every touchdown.)

    While no sport’s All-Star exhibition measures up to its real games, the NFL’s is clearly the most irrelevant.

    Baseball’s Midsummer Classic has given us King Carl Hubbell striking out five Hall of Famers in a row, Ted Williams taking Rip Sewell’s Eephus pitch deep and Cal Ripken Jr. saying goodbye with an MVP. (And, yes, Bud Selig declaring a tie.)

    Though the NBA All-Star Game has become increasingly unwatchable in recent years, it has provided some awesome moments: David Thompson vs. Dr. J in 1979; Magic Johnson’s MVP return in ’92; Michael Jordan outdueling a 19-year-old Kobe Bryant in ‘98

    Even hockey has provided some All-Star memories: Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky one-upping each other with alternating MVP performances from 1988-1990; a graying Ray Bourque winning MVP in Boston in ’96; the introduction of the shootout to the league in 2003.

    But football?

    Can anyone remember anything noteworthy about a Pro Bowl? Besides the autograph-seeking fan Marvin Harrison allegedly throttled in Hawaii in 2005.

    I first learned the Pro Bowl was bogus as a little kid looking at my 1975 Topps football cards.

    On the back of Eagles QB Mike Boryla’s card -- in that little space below the stats -- it said he had starred in the Pro Bowl following the ’75 season. He had thrown fourth-quarter TD passes to two different St. Louis Cardinals -- Mel Gray and Terry Metcalf -- to rally the NFC from a 20-9 deficit to a 23-20 victory.

    What had Boryla done to deserve to be on that stage? Well, he had started five games for Philly and thrown six TD passes and 12 picks.

    The guy wasn’t even David Garrard. Not close.

    I still have no idea how Boryla made it on the field representing a conference that included 9-time Pro Bowler Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach (6 Pro Bowls), Jim Hart (4), Norm Snead (4), Archie Manning (2) and reigning Pro Bowl MVP James Harris (who won the award the last time the game was played in Miami). But the fact that Boryla played -- and excelled -- told me everything I’d ever need to know about the Pro Bowl.

    Boryla appeared in a total of 23 NFL games, finishing his career with 20 TD passes and 29 interceptions. From his Pro Bowl success, it’s clear he fared better when the defense wasn’t trying.

    The insignificance of the Pro Bowl may not be new, but moving it before the Super Bowl will showcase its sad irrelevance. It’s hard to believe this is an event the league wanted to shine a spotlight on when it so obviously should be ignored.

    You just can’t make friendly, don’t-get-hurt football compelling.

    And this year you’ll have the entire sports media army in Miami with nothing better to do than observe just how dull and listless the Pro Bowl is. (“These teams really do not hate each other.”)

    Now that he’s dragged this cadaver into the spotlight maybe Commissioner Goodell will be able to see that it’s time to give it a decent burial.

  • #2
    Re: NFL's biggest joke about to be exposed

    The Pro Bowl has always been a joke but at least the players got to go to Hawaii. I wonder who the genius was that came up with the idea of playing the week before the Superbowl and in Miami?!



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    • r8rh8rmike
      Pro Bowl Falls On Hard Times: A Lost Cause?
      by r8rh8rmike
      Pro Bowl falls on hard times: A lost cause?
      08:03 AM ET 06.01

      Hawaii, New Orleans or the moon, how does one fix the Pro Bowl? "I don't think you can," Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey told "I don't have any thoughts on that," Bills general manager Buddy Nix added. One NFL general manager, who spoke to on the condition of anonymity, pleaded: "Just cancel it now, please." The NBA, Major League Baseball and NHL have found ways to make their all-star games interesting and entertaining for fans. Yet the NFL fails to hit the mark year after year with the Pro Bowl. To be blunt, the game is no longer relevant. The consensus among NFL coaches and front office executives surveyed at the owners meetings is that fixing the Pro Bowl is a lost cause.
      -06-02-2012, 10:53 AM
    • ramsanddodgers
      Pro bowl on the move?
      by ramsanddodgers
      Now it counts, Part Deux?...
      -11-24-2008, 07:54 PM
    • psycho9985
      Pro Bowl
      by psycho9985
      I dont know about everybody else,but I love the Pro bowl

      Last game of the season,season sure went by FAST!

      We get to see some Rams play.

      Hoping Torry gets MVP.

      The Uniforms are cool(well at least the NFC unis are cool).

      I wish they still had the Supe Champs play the college all stars I really miss that.

      -02-12-2006, 10:41 AM
    • NJ Ramsfan1
      PRO BOWL- A Colossal joke
      by NJ Ramsfan1
      The Pro Bowl hasn't been any good for quite some time, but I just thought I'd point out that its an even BIGGER joke the Rams weren't deemed worthy enough to get even one guy on there as a back up. Jason Pierre-Paul (5.5 sacks) makes it but neither Long (11.5) nor Quinn (10.5) receive a whiff. Guess James Laurinaitis and his 184 tackles count for nothing, as does janoris jenkins and his 4 defensive TDs. SJ's 8th consec. 1000 yard season means zero.
      Pro Bowl and its voters ridiculous.
      -01-21-2013, 10:18 PM
    • CanadianRam!
      RAMS in the pro bowl!!
      by CanadianRam!
      as pro bowl ending is just about to end, cbs has an article about the guys they think should be on the pro bowl team.

      In the NFC, there are two :helmet: players listed

      anyways herez the article...enjoy!

      NFC offense
      QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks. Reserves: Eli Manning, Giants; Mark Brunell, Redskins.
      Comment: This is really a down year for NFC quarterbacks, so Hasselbeck takes the start almost by default. The reserves? Somebody has to go.

      RB: Starters: Shaun Alexander, Seahawks. Reserves: Tiki Barber, Giants; Warrick Dunn, Falcons.
      Comment: Alexander is having an MVP-like season, so he gets the start. Dunn edges out Washington's Clinton Portis for the final spot.

      FB: Starter: Mack Strong, Seahawks.
      Comment: He's the guy leading Alexander to all those yards.

      WR: Starters: Steve Smith, Carolina; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona. Reserves: Santana Moss, Redskins; Joey Galloway, Bucs.
      Comment: Smith is an MVP candidate, while Fitzgerald has put up huge numbers with the Cardinals. Moss has cooled some, while Galloway is having his best year since 1998.

      TE: Starter: Alge Crumpler, Falcons. Reserve: Jeremy Shockey, Giants.
      Comment: Clearly they are the two best in the NFC. Washington's Chris Cooley is a riser who just misses.

      T: Starters: Walter Jones, Seahawks; Jon Jansen, Redskins. Reserve: Orlando Pace, Rams.
      Comment: Jones is the league's best tackle, while Jansen gets the nod in a weak right tackle group. Pace is still a heck of a player.

      G: Starters: Steve Hutchinson, Seahawks; Chris Snee, Giants. Reserve: Larry Allen, Cowboys.
      Comment: Hutchinson and Jones make up the best side of any line in the league. Snee is a real comer who will be a perennial choice here.

      C: Starter: Olin Kreutz, Bears. Reserve: LeCharles Bentley, Saints.
      Comment: When he's not breaking teammates' jaws, Kreutz is a heck of a player. Bentley would get more notice on a better team.

      K: Neil Rackers, Cardinals.
      Comment: He has missed one field-goal attempt all season, making 34 of 35. That's amazing.

      NFC defense
      DE: Starters: Mike Strahan, Giants; Will Smith, Saints. Reserve: Adewale Ogunleye, Bears.
      Comment: Strahan lowered his body weight, but his production didn't drop. Smith has quietly developed into a star.

      DT: Starters: Rod Coleman, Falcons; Tommie Harris, Bears. Reserve: La'Roi Glover, Cowboys.
      Comment: Coleman is a sack guy inside, while Harris has emerged as a dominant player for a good Bears defense.

      OLB: Starters: Lance Briggs, Bears; Derrick Brooks, Bucs. Reserve: Karlos Dansby, Cardinals.
      Comment: Briggs is a rising star, while Brooks is a veteran who continues to play at a high level. Dansby could be a starter in years to come.

      -12-15-2005, 04:49 PM