Written by Dane Martinez

So imagine today that you’re a QB who is on pace to throw for over 4,200 yards and have led 7 4th-quarter comebacks for your team who sits in first place with two weeks left in the season, all while managing an injury to your throwing hand. You’d be pretty pleased with your season, right? While you may not expect celebration, it should be good enough for some pro bowl recognition, right…?

Not if you’re Matthew Stafford in 2016! Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, and rookie Dak Prescott were all selected to represent the NFC ahead of you. The new question is, does it really matter?

After years of superstars taking this game as seriously as schoolyard 2-hand touch and despite the randomness of the rosters drafted by legends, the pro bowl received it’s lowest rating ever last year and some even questioned if the event would continue. Plus, being recognized as a Pro-Bowler meant a nice trip to Hawaii in January or February. Now the game has been moved to Orlando which is…not Honolulu!

Maybe you get a little upset because you’re not in a big market and feel slighted by other big name teams. The Raiders have 7 honorees. The Cowboys have 5. The Patriots have 4. But wait, my Lions have nobody? Not even offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter?!? What do you do next? Check your contract to see what incentives you may have just missed out on, that’s what!

But then you move into another stage of the process. You realize you are part of the NFL fraternity and “say the right things”. You even help promote the new Skills competition and hype how great your teammates would be in the “Epic Pro Dodgeball” competition because you know how agile your wideouts have been all season long.

Then you go into the final stage of acceptance. You realize that a ton of veterans will wind up passing on the invite and you’ll likely wind up making it. You relish the opportunity to once again spend time with other talented players to talk shop, build relationships, and maybe even recruit some new free-agents for your team. Finally, you remember that one of newest changes mean that the two teams headed to the Super Bowl have all their players exempt from the Pro-Bowl anyway. So let Matty Ice, Dak, and ARod go to Orlando. Hopefully that 1st place team can keep it going and you’ll have a much more important game in Houston the following week.

Don’t worry Matt, you’re a Pro-Bowler in my book, and I’m pretty sure that designation will come for your 2016 efforts eventually.

ARCHIVES

Year after year football fans talk about how the Pro Bowl could be improved. As an undrafted SportsGuru I posted my first video ever about the Pro Bowl, almost one year ago, and I have it here to share with you.

 

Initial Rosters:

Position AFC NFC
QB Tom Brady, NE Matt Ryan, ATL
QB Derek Carr, OAK Aaron Rodgers, GB
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT Dak Prescott, DAL
RB Le’Veon Bell, PIT Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
RB DeMarco Murray, TEN David Johnson, ARI
RB LeSean McCoy, BUF Devonta Freeman, ATL
FB Kyle Juszczyk, BAL Mike Tolbert, CAR
WR Antonio Brown, PIT Julio Jones, ATL
WR Amari Cooper, OAK Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
WR A.J. Green, CIN Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND Mike Evans, TB
TE Travis Kelce, KC Greg Olsen, CAR
TE Delanie Walker, TEN Jordan Reed, WAS
OT Joe Thomas, CLE Tyron Smith, DAL
OT Donald Penn, OAK Trent Williams, WAS
OT Taylor Lewan, TEN Jason Peters, PHI
OG Marshal Yanda, BAL Zack Martin, DAL
OG Kelechi Osemele, OAK Brandon Scherff, WAS
OG David DeCastro, PIT T.J. Lang, GB
C Rodney Hudson, OAK Travis Frederick, DAL
C Maurkice Pouncey, PIT Alex Mack, ATL
DE Khalil Mack, OAK Everson Griffen, MIN
DE Cameron Wake, MIA Cliff Avril, SEA
DE Jadeveon Clowney, HOU Michael Bennett, SEA
DT Geno Atkins, CIN Aaron Donald, LA
DT Ndamukong Suh, MIA Gerald McCoy, TB
DT Jurrell Casey, TEN Fletcher Cox, PHI
OLB Von Miller, DEN Vic Beasley, ATL
OLB Lorenzo Alexander, BUF Ryan Kerrigan, WAS
OLB Brian Orakpo, TEN Thomas Davis, CAR
ILB Dont’a Hightower, NE Bobby Wagner, SEA
ILB C.J. Mosley, BAL Luke Kuechly, CAR
CB Marcus Peters, KC Janoris Jenkins, NYG
CB Aqib Talib, DEN Patrick Peterson, ARI
CB Casey Hayward, SD Richard Sherman, SEA
CB Chris Harris, DEN Xavier Rhodes, MIN
S Devin McCourty, NE Harrison Smith, MIN
S Reggie Nelson, OAK Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, GB
S Eric Berry, KC Landon Collins, NYG
P Pat McAfee, IND Johnny Hekker, LA
PK Justin Tucker, BAL Matt Bryant, ATL
RS Tyreek Hill, KC Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN
ST Matthew Slater, NE Dwayne Harris, NYG