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.
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.
|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|