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 Post subject: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:58 pm 
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https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2 ... l-matters/

The Pro Bowl Matters
Sam Monson | 2012/12/29



‘It doesn’t matter, it’s only the Pro Bowl.’ I’m getting pretty tired of hearing that line at this time of year.

The game itself may have descended into a farce, but that is hardly surprising when you think about it. The NFL is a game of controlled violence, of potential injury on every snap, and while that’s a risk players are willing to take for their shot at a Super Bowl ring and a big-time payday, they are understandably less keen on taking that risk in an exhibition game at the end of the season.

One unfortunate play can cost a player his season before it has even begun. With NFL contracts not guaranteed the way they are in other sports, players don’t want to go all out in the Pro-Bowl and blow their shot at really big money or at a ring the next season just to put on a better show for fans in their All-Star game. I get that, and to be honest I can’t really hold too much of a grudge over the attitude.

But the Pro Bowl selections are about far more than that in the big picture.

For a start it’s about dollars. Some players have Pro Bowl bonuses written into their contracts. They want performance-based incentives, and one of the few tangible accomplishments for some positions that are outside of the subjectivity of their own coaches is a selection to the All-Star teams named at the end of the season.

Vikings center John Sullivan reportedly missed out on a cool $500k by getting snubbed for the Pro Bowl — despite being the best center in football this season. Now, you might say that it’s foolish to have money like that resting on a selection process as flawed as the Pro Bowl’s is, and that’s certainly true, but that’s hardly the point, right?

Should we not instead be focusing on the system that’s screwed a deserving player out of $500k in pay? Sullivan could have negotiated his bonus to be tied to something else, but centers surrender so little pressure that sacks wouldn’t really be practical, and pressure as a whole would likely be relying on the Vikings’ coaching staff to produce the numbers, obviously causing an obvious conflict in interest for the team.

Until the stage where agents are negotiating into their player’s contracts bonuses based on PFF stats, they’re going to continue to lean on the Pro Bowl as a tangible achievement, and those guys are simply rolling the dice right now. An All-Pro caliber season can’t guarantee you a Pro Bowl spot if you’re playing at the wrong position that people can’t be trusted to fairly evaluate.

The second reason it matters (and one that doesn’t rely on you having sympathy for millionaires missing out on a few more dollars) is that Pro Bowl appearances define legacies.

When a guy gets put up for the Hall of Fame one of the first things you’ll hear about him is how many times he went to the Pro Bowl and how many consecutive years he was in Hawaii. Given the ridiculous state of the votes recently it makes you wonder how many players are in Canton right now based on a series of Pro Bowls they may not have earned.

Maurkice Pouncey right now is about 25-35 percent of the way to a Hall of Fame career despite barely rising above average in his NFL career. This was his best season in the NFL and he is our eighth-ranked center in the AFC alone, yet he has been to the Pro Bowl every season of his career. For some reason there was an agreement when he was drafted that he would be a faultless player who would go to Canton on the back of an annual Pro Bowl and All-Pro nomination.

If offensive line evaluation is bad enough that the only people questioning the Pouncey accolades are the people watching and grading all offensive linemen on every play, it makes you wonder about every great lineman we take for granted as a stud.

My point is not to get bogged down in another Pouncey debate, it is simply to point out that Pro Bowl picks that seem overtly farcical at the time don’t get remembered that way, they just go down as another achievement. While we might all agree that Eric Berry has no more business at the Pro Bowl this season than you or I, in 10 years time nobody will remember that, they’ll just see it as an All-Star selection.

As long as we just accept a broken process, we’re in danger of completely undermining how we remember players and how they get recognized at the end of their careers.

Lastly, the Pro Bowl is simply about fairness and recognizing the best players of the season. Does that matter? Maybe not in the great scheme of things, but neither do lots of other little injustices, it doesn’t mean we should just accept them and ignore the inherent unfairness of it all.

Great players are having great seasons and being ignored for the Pro Bowl while players that are nothing more than rank average in any given season are taking a free trip to Hawaii because people have heard their names before, and others are simply too lazy to do the required groundwork to know what they are talking about.

Maybe you are comfortable with that unfairness, but I’m not, and that’s why the argument that ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s only the Pro Bowl’ simply won’t wash with me or with PFF around this time of year, so you’ll have to simply bear with us.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:43 am 
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Pudge Wrote:
Quote:
The game itself may have descended into a farce, but that is hardly surprising when you think about it. The NFL is a game of controlled violence, of potential injury on every snap, and while that’s a risk players are willing to take for their shot at a Super Bowl ring and a big-time payday, they are understandably less keen on taking that risk in an exhibition game at the end of the season.


That's the best reason possible to just stop the Farce of the Pro Bowl. We could still vote
and call it the " best 22" or something snappy, but for the League to play a Farce of Game; is just making the NFL a big part of a farce.

Yea some get snubbed and life's not fair and that crap, but just as bad is the people who
wouldn't make the team, but get invited anyway because others claim injury, or as stated
why take the chance when the game means nothing. So many are invited because others don't participate. Keith Brooking did this as many times as possible.


We might even get a better vote if they didn't play the game, (no way to know) and certainly their are better ways to get higher pay than going to a pro bowl or not.

You certainly can't compare football to baseball, but I kinda like watching a good hitter going up against a good pitcher.

So while I agree with about everything Pudge has said I do take exception to playing a football game; and knowing its stupid for the players to play at 100%.....with that being the case just stop the damn Pro Bowl; and let the NFL stop embarrassing
themselves with this B.S.

Players mostly get to the Hall based on Championships played or Super Bowls played and won. I wouldn't let fans vote, Id let coaches vote and none from their own team... Or something similar.

Players playing this game at half speed is understandable; but just without positive
justice to keep playing this farce (game). The owners would lose money too, but maybe they'd get a little more respect. Most owners don't need more money but could certainly use and deserve more respect. Like asking fans to pay $150 for scrimmages at the beginning of the year.

Lets remember " Everything Counts "

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:06 am 
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My not-so-well-thought-out solution would be something along the lines of eliminating the game. Instead have a flag football game that is used to raise money for whatever charity the NFL wanted to support (United Way?).

You make that it's a combination of coaches, players, and select media members (like 160, 5 per NFL city) that vote on the all-pro team that will play in that charity game.

Fans on the other hand can vote for a more trophy-based all-pro team. All of these players get to go to Hawaii for a week to play in the game and do a lot of parties and stuff. Basically make it like a second Super Bowl week, where you have a number of awards (sort of like college football) that you can invite all of the players to as a sort of stamp/celebration/period on the previous season.

With O-linemen, Pro Bowls matter because without them you struggle to get HOF consideration. If a guy has 12 Pro Bowls, then he'll be almost a lock to go to Canton, but if he has just 2, there's no way he's getting in the door. And really, that 12-time Pro Bowler may have legitimately earned it 6 of those years, but the other 6 on pure reputation alone. Meanwhile, the 2-time Pro Bowler missed out on 4 of those 6 years that the other guy made it because of his lack of reputation.

For example, Fred Taylor, Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher will probably not get the fair shake they deserve 5-10 years from now because of a lack of Pro Bowls. They have 5 Pro Bowls among them, while Keith Brooking has 5 himself. And come 2025 as the above article said, no one is going to care or remember that Spikes and Fletcher were better players than Brooking, just that Brooking had more than their combined number.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:43 am 
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Brooking was better at politicking. The flag football or maybe just some kind of skills competition might suffice. Hard to let go of traditions but of the Big Three--hoops, basbeall and football--the Pro Bowl is absolutely subterranian with its all star festival. It is disgusting to watch as a sport fan. What was the safety from DC named who was murdered? Taylor? He put a lick on a punter or kicker in that game that was epic. He must not have gotten the memo. But other than that I can't recall anything notable about any Pro Bowl I have ever seen.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:24 am 
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forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't alot of this be solved by having the Probowl the week AFTER the Superbowl? I mean, lookit the Falcons this year. There is no way in hell our 3 are going to play if we have a date set in Feb in New Orleans, nor will our opponent, right? That in itself seems unfair, especially if you have $$ on the line.

My solution is to have it the following week, or week after that, and have everybody vote the day after the SB, on monday. This way perhaps teams that arrive in the final game might get more PB recognition. Also, it gives the chattering class something else to talk about in that week running up to the Superbowl. Who will get in? Who wont?

It's not a fix all but you could tweak the game so it makes sense. :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:38 pm 
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Talk about a popularity contest!!

Julio has 79 receptions, 1198 receiving yards, & 10 TDs.....

Roddy has 92 catches, 1,351 yards, & 7 Tds.


We all know I'm a Roddy fan, but 13 more receptions 150 more receiving yards, I don't think Julio's 3 more touchdowns, out weighs 13 more receptions and and 150 receiving yards. 150 extra receiving yards equals 3 or 5 field goals or more touchdowns. Plus Roddy plays hurt!!

I hate the Pro Bowl. I should have just stated that upfront.

Again if coaches voted the right linemen would probably get in The Hall; but
the voting and the game is a joke. I'll watch the game maybe 20 minutes or do
something else.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: The Pro Bowl Matters
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:22 pm 
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I have the same sentiments Cyril. Stopped voting for the Pro Bowl about 5 years ago.

This is the problem they have in college football. They hold onto old institutions for too long. Such as the coach's poll and AP poll. There's nothing wrong with having polls, but have an actual panel of experts that actually watch the games to decide these things. Pick 50 people, and have it be their job to pick who are the best teams as they are tasked with watching all or most of the games each week.

The same should be true of the Pro Bowl. Having the fans involved (or heavily involved) completely skews what little value the Pro Bowl has. You have smart fans that actually do their research before voting. You have fans that do a little research, but it goes about as far as seeing Player A have 110 tackles and Player B having 98. Then you have the fans that just pick only the players from their favorite team. Why are the latter 2 groups (who make up the overwhelming bulk of fan voters) allowed to have a say?

This isn't democracy, where everyone is supposed to have a say. It's a team that is supposed to honor the best players in football. Let the people that have a clue what they are talking about pick that.

Get 100-150 beat writers/sports journalist (who have some semblance of integrity), along with the coaches/players themselves, and have them decide who are the best players in the league. These are the people that are watching most (if not all) of the games, they should have the power.

It still won't be a perfect system, but it will be far less flawed than the current one.

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