The League

Jim McCormick
Blitz Magazine Publisher

Jim McCormick

The editor and publisher of Blitz Magazine

Snub list best part of Pro Bowl

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During the NBA's All-star weekend we crave amazing dunks and feats of athleticism and expect the absence of defense. Baseball infused, even forced, interest in their "Midsummer Classic" by weighting the game with World Series implications. The NHL and WNBA apparently have all-star events and I have no idea what happens in them since I'd rather watch a series of 1975 NFL Films vignettes than a 12-9 hockey game and a relentless layup line.

What do we get out of the Pro Bowl?

While all-star events by nature are inconsequential, the Pro Bowl has taken this inconsequential-ness (new word) to a whole new level with their post-season faux game. The Pro Bowl is like your mom buying you a fake Voltron set when you were a kid (not that this happened to me...) and expecting you to truly enjoy it; it looks and even feels like the real thing, but in the end it's just a watered down product that your embarrassed to use as a source of entertainment. I guess I'm wondering why there even is a Pro Bowl if the product and play is so unlike the real NFL product.

There is, however, one redeeming element to the Pro Bowl experience -- the snub list. Nothing else about the event really inspires conversation or interest other than the gripes over seemingly glaring omissions. Complaining is a classic form of entertainment, and its annual presence saves the Pro Bowl for me.

NFC

The only argument at tailback in the NFC is should Ryan Grant have beaten out DeAngelo Williams based on his superior durability and consistency? Over the course of his young career Grant has proven to possess impressive timing, as he's peaked in the crucial late-stretches while most backs wear due to the attrition of the season.
The tight end can be considered snub central as arguments can be made for Philly's Brent Celek or Atlanta's ageless Tony Gonzalez over Dallas' Jason Witten and his lone touchdown. Just imagine how clogged the ballot would be had Chris Cooley not gone down. Despite nearly 20 fewer receptions than Witten, Celek had 14 20-plus yard plays to Witten's 10 and seven more visits to the end zone.

Clay Matthews III deserved the nod just slightly over Brian Orakpo. Orakpo was no doubt brilliant in stretches, but was somewhat inflated by monster outing against Oakland. Matthews' production was more spread out and he instantly replaced and even outperformed injured former Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman and revived the Packers' pass rush. Much like his teammate Grant, Matthews came on strong in the second half of the season and afforded his team needed balance in their front seven.

DeSean Jackson's unique distinction as the first multi-position "Bowler" is impressive but also somewhat questionable when it's arguable that Percy Harvin's impact on special teams was just as, if not more, deserving of a trip to Hawi... Miami.

AFC

Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley was snubbed by his own teammate James Harrison, whose epic rumbling touchdown return in last year's Super Bowl still swipes as good Pro Bowl credit amongst voters. It was Woodley's dynamically violent play that kept Pittsburgh in several contests rather than his forerunner Harrison.

The Jets' gnarly looking linebacker David Harris leads the NFL's top defense with 126 tackles and also has 5.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles and merits consideration over annual incumbent Ray Lewis. It's not a glaring mistake, but Harris deserved a spot over either Lewis or DeMeco Ryans, even if it means playing him out of position.

Colts safety Antoine Bethea did his best Bob Sanders impression this year tying together an eroded and patchwork secondary with a consistent year that bests Ed Reed's injury-addled season.

By Jim McCormick  |  December 30, 2009; 2:59 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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