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Why the Pro Bowl is broken.

Updated on February 6, 2015

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, I really loved the Pro Bowl.
In the infancy of my NFL fandom, I watched it every year.
I really liked the pro bowl when it was the week after the Super Bowl.
It was a light-hearted game to ease us into the off-season and there were plenty of side-events to distract the fans.
(I miss the challenges honestly).
But now...

Let's just say...

Let's just say you're a lawyer.
You're a really good lawyer too.
You work hard, you don't charge too much, and you rarely ever lose a case.
And once a year, there's a huge banquet where they honor the very best lawyers in your town.
How do they decide who gets in?
Well, all the lawyers and anyone who was in a court room during any case.
...What? That's stupid.
That's not fair.
Those people aren't educated enough, they could just pick their friends, or their favorites, not necessarily the best lawyers.
That's what the Pro Bowl is like.

It doesn't matter if you're the best player in the NFL if the right people don't like you.
The players and the fans vote, and almost every year, there are a few hilariously bad snubs.
Let me break down the opposite, let me break down the guys who played in the all-star game who had absolutely no business being there.

On second thought, It's actually too simple to explain.

Originally, I planned on breaking down each position and explaining who I thought did and didn't belong, but as I went down the list for the biggest snubs, I discovered something interesting.
As I looked up all of the extremely talented NFL players who weren't in the All-Star game, I realized that many of the best players weren't snubbed... they flat out refused the invitation.
It's not unusual, players like Tom Brady have been doing it for years, usually claiming some kind of injury.
Let me just list some of the players who turned the invitation down.

Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Joe Flacco.
Arian Foster, Le'Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy.
Wide Receivers-
Julio Jones, Jeremy Maclin, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas.
Tight End-
Julius Thomas.
Offensive Lineman-
Jason Peters, Jahri Evans, Mike Iupati.
Defensive Lineman-
Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh.

Oddly, I found that more offensive players turned it down than defensive players. I wonder why that is? Maybe they don't get hurt as often? Maybe they just like the opportunity to play with the elite defenders like Kuechly or Watt.

So instead of listing the guys who were snubbed, I'm going to list the guys who got to play that absolutely did not deserve to.

The No-Bowlers.

Andy Dalton.
I don't get this at all.
I don't even.
I'm going to jot down a couple of statlines, you tell me who's in the Pro Bowl.

3,398 yards, 19 TDs, 17 INTs.
3,812 yards, 28 TDs, 18 INTs.
3,270 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs.

Okay, go ahead and guess.
The second one?
Wrong, that's Jay Cutler.
The third one?
That's Raiders rookie, Derek Carr.
That means... Yup.
Those hideously pedestrian stats on top belong to PRO BOWL QB, Andy Dalton.
He's an all-star.

Mark Ingram.
Mark Ingram got "all-star" honors.
Whut? Are we discussing shoe game? Because I get that, love those warrior cleats.
Outside of that...
Ingram only had 115 more yards than Russell Wilson.
He was 14th in rushing dammit. I don't care if half of them are hurt and one is in the Super Bowl, He doesn't fit in here
C.J. Anderson.
I get that Anderson might have a bright future and he didn't get to play all 16 games.
But he didn't even get 1,000 rushing yards.
There are 32 teams in this league, and half of their running backs had more yards than Anderson.

John Kuhn.
John Kuhn started two games this year.
Two games.
He had less than 100 yards total.
I rest my case.

A.J. Green.

While A.J. is easily among the best receivers in the NFL, 2014 was hardly an All-Star season.
He was injured for most of 5 games, and only managed to grab 69 catches for 6 TDs, barely scraping over 1,000 yards. Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr. were rookies and they had significantly better seasons.
What? They have youth on their side?
Then how about the aging Steve Smith Jr. or Anquan Boldin? They also had better seasons, but neither of them got an invite to Hawaii.

C.J. Mosley.
I will never stop furiously resenting the attention that the media showers Mosley with.
Let me just list the talent that Mosley played with
Haloti Ngata, Chris Canty, Terrell Suggs, Daryl Smith, Courtney Upshaw, and Elvis Dumervil.
That's without getting into the secondary at all...
Tough job...
He struggled mightily against offensive linemen and was easily pushed away from the run game, is known as a pass rusher but failed to get more than 3 sacks on a defense that totaled 49...
Sure. A guy who was acceptably average with the talent around him that had to be schemed away from Rob Gronkowski in their match-up with the Patriots, was largely responsible for botching the "eligible man" debacle.
Yeah. He's an all-star.

Tamba Hali.
Hali had one of the very worst seasons of his career in 2015, only registering 6 sacks.
If he gets in with 6 sacks, why not rookie Khalil Mack?
It's true that Mack had 4 sacks, but he was also 5th in the league for tackles for a loss with 16.
Hali only had 7.
But sure.

Patrick Peterson.
A big name, to be sure.
Over the last two years he's given up 17 touchdowns and pulled in 6 interceptions.
Not so much.


It's a pointless game with nothing hanging in the balance that most players don't take seriously enough to even attend.
The ratings are terrible and the only reason it even exists is because Roger Goodell will put any product on television if he thinks he can make money off of it.
There needs to be some kind of incentive added.
Maybe go back to conferences and say the winning conference gets to host the Super Bowl?
Just something.
Please make this travesty go away.


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    • Ryan Daniel Smith profile image

      Ryan Smith 2 years ago

      I absolutely agree, maybe at that point, players would actually show up and fans might watch it again.

    • Ty Tayzlor profile image

      TT 2 years ago from Anywhere

      They need to put back the week after the Super bowl so that the players playing in the Superbowl can play the week after.