NFL Pro Bowl open thread

posted at 10:00 am on January 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl?  What genius thought to do that?  None of the players from the two best teams in the league will be there, because they’ll be too busy preparing to play each other in the Super Bowl.  That means that fans will get to see all of the best players from teams that couldn’t advance into or through the playoffs.

I understand that the NFL doesn’t like having a weekend off between the championship games and the Super Bowl, but the Pro Bowl should have all of the best players able to play in it.  If the NFL doesn’t want an open weekend, then move the Super Bowl back a week and give both of the teams one week to prepare.  That’s good enough during the season — it should be good enough in the playoffs, especially this year, since both teams had a first-round bye.

The Pro Bowl already has its share of controversy.  Minnesota’s offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie lived up to his position name by apparently becoming the first player dismissed from the Pro Bowl:

Because he was Missing In Action for much of Pro Bowl week, Minnesota left tackle Bryant McKinnie became the first player I’ve ever heard of to be dismissed from the Pro Bowl.

If you follow McKinnie on Twitter (@bigmacvikings), you know he was nursing some nagging injuries toward the end of the season. You also know that he made no mention of skipping the Pro Bowl as a result, and you know that he participated in a practice earlier this week.

As well, you might know he was tweeting at, uh, odd hours with thinly veiled references to the Miami club scene. After the news broke Saturday, McKinnie tweeted that “I never said I didn’t go out” but insisted he thought his body “would start feeling better the later we got in the week.” McKinnie’s story — and it’s all there for you to read — is that he pulled out of the game because of injuries.

That leaves the NFC with only two OTs — and now they have to play the entire game.  It’s too late to get a replacement for McKinnie.  The AFC line will likely be fresher with better rotation.  I’ll pick the AFC to win it, 34-20.


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Correct me if I’m wrong, wouldn’t this still put Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew in the AFC backfield? That’s worth watching right there.

LastRick on January 31, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Having the Pro Bowl this week is silly. Then again, I rarely watch the Pro Bowl, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Nobody really wants to play in the game and all they want are their checks and what used to be a trip to Hawaii. Miami? They can go there any time they want, that’s not a reward.

Also, as a Steelers fan living in Cleveland, it kills me to have to listen to local sports guys talk about how Derek Anderson is a Pro Bowl QB. He was an alternate who got lucky because the real Pro Bowlers didn’t want to go to Hawaii.

The Pro Bowl blows.

myrenovations on January 31, 2010 at 10:07 AM

I agree that putting the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl is stupid. Fans won’t get to see Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Reggie Bush. Or many other stars. The NFL needs to be reminded of the old saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

SoulGlo on January 31, 2010 at 10:10 AM

MLB pitchers and catchers report in Feb.

a capella on January 31, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Drop the Hall of Fame Game and replace it with the Pro Bowl. You’ll have more healthy players in early August and you can spend the whole boring game speculating on the Hall of Fame chances of the various players.

trubble on January 31, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Pro-Bowl – super boring.

jake-the-goose on January 31, 2010 at 10:13 AM

The only reason I’ll tune in for a bit is a local kid I know is playing in his first Pro Bowl. Outside of that this is a yawner.

JammieWearingFool on January 31, 2010 at 10:14 AM

U.S. Cancels No-Bid Contract for Afghan Work Given to Democratic Donor

FOXNews.com

The U.S. canceled a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan — awarded without entertaining competitive bids — to a company owned by a Democratic campaign contributor.

artist on January 31, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I think Obama and the congress should get involved and get the Pro Bowl back in its rightful place. They should probably pick the players to participate also. /sarc. off/

Zoltan on January 31, 2010 at 10:18 AM

I agree with Ed- no week off between Conference Championship and the Super Bowl. That’s all about media hype anyway. I’m sure the coaches and players would say that they don’t need it and the only benefit is for the rare player who’s injuries will heal enough for him to play. I’ll probably have it on, since there’s not much else to watch on Sunday evening.

Two weeks to Daytona!

BKeyser on January 31, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Never watch the Pro Bowl regardless of when they have it…and now the league MVP isn’t even playing…it usually looks like a really bad pre-season game anyway…except these guys aren’t hitting as hard because they all have jobs.

DCJeff on January 31, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I think Obama and the congress should get involved and get the Pro Bowl back in its rightful place. They should probably pick the players to participate also. /sarc. off/

Zoltan on January 31, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Well,..O.K., but then it will need a quota system. All teams represented equally, no matter how bad. The Redskins and Raiders have as many selections as the Colts and Saints. It’s only fair to spread the wealth around.

a capella on January 31, 2010 at 10:28 AM

I am a big NFL fan but if I look in on this game today it will only be because I was channel surfing.

FireBlogger on January 31, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Give them a ring or a trophy and let them all stay home.

sheriff246 on January 31, 2010 at 10:30 AM

I’m a HUGE NFL fan but have never watched the Pro Bowl and won’t watch today. No Peyton Manning or Drew Brees???

PatMac on January 31, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Steelers 35 – Other team 3

Bishop on January 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM

The Pro Bowl ranks right up there with snowboarding for me. In fact, I would probably rather watch snowboarding.
At least the snow boarding kids would be giving it their full effort.
My remote will get a workout today, but NO Pro Bowl!

donh525 on January 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Love football……but never watch this thing.

Nobody cares and it’s only worse with this stunt. I like the “Hall of Fame” suggestion above but I’m really leaning toward just having an All-Pro Team announced for formalities sake (yea, good for you, see ya next year kinda thing) and just forgetting about even going through the motions of this farce.

JoeinTX on January 31, 2010 at 10:36 AM

I never heard the reason for the NFL to put the Pro Bowl ahead of the SB, but, in Obama’s words, the NFL acted stupidly—-again. On a sidenote, if the NFL doesn’t improve their quality of referees soon, the league will continue to go downhill. Despite the camera review process, there were some pretty atrocious calls made through-out the season that, IMO, were made based on poor judgement and lack of experience. Blown calls in the playoffs seemed to be more prevelant and obvious than in years past—further making fans question the integrity of the game.

Rovin on January 31, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Steelers 35 – Other team 3

Bishop on January 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Don’t you mean Troy Polamalu 35 – other team 3? It sure seems the Steelers were “a different team” without TP.

Rovin on January 31, 2010 at 10:42 AM

I agree Ed, no week off between the conference championships and the super bowl. Like was stated above that is just for media hype. Screw them.

And having the pro bowl without all the best players is just stupid. Rodger Godell is proving to be the worst commish in the history of the league.

conservnut on January 31, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I don’t believe there has ever been an ‘exciting Pro Bowl” but I generally watch. The fact that the Super Bowl players won’t be makes very little difference to me..

But I enjoy it.

While you are waiting on the kickoff, check out this tasty video nugget from Breitbart. NO RULES FOR RADICALS. Totally cool.

deedtrader on January 31, 2010 at 10:49 AM

remember how W once said that Condi Rice wanted a job that was not in his power to give? she really wants to be NFL commissioner. why not let her do it?

i mean, my God, she’s black! and a woman! and grew up in the South (where we are all dumb & poor)!.

kelley in virginia on January 31, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I wouldn’t be too critical of the NFL. Anyone that can figure out how to cram 3 hours of commercials into a 1 hour event is pure genious!

repvoter on January 31, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Pro Bowl = Unwatchable

Right now – Arsenal vs. Manchester United = Very Watchable!!

ncsully on January 31, 2010 at 11:12 AM

The pro-bowl is a disaster of an event. They could pick the worst players and let them play for all I care.

V15J on January 31, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Apparently the NFL realized its mistake-the next 2 Pro Bowls will be back in Hawai’i.

Here’s the real football story for today!

Ex-Falcon Hebert to wear dress in NO parade

Normally, a man in a dress is a non-story in New Orleans. Cross dressing isn’t a taboo there; it’s a tradition.

But Sunday will be a special day in gender confusion — a former NFL quarterback with 11 years in the league is scheduled to lead a large troupe of men in frills on a parade into the French Quarter. That’s what Bobby Hebert gets for moving from Atlanta back to his home state.

“This thing has grown unbelievably,” Hebert said earlier this week. “They were talking about hundreds of guys doing it. Including those who actually like to cross dress.”

A longtime Saints quarterback, Hebert had his one Pro Bowl season his first year after signing with the Falcons (1993). He played in Atlanta until 1996 and lived here for nearly a decade before plunging full time into the New Orleans sports talk radio market.

Buddy Diliberto was Hebert’s predecessor at WWL radio. It was his promise to parade down Bourbon Street in a dress if that woebegone franchise ever made the Super Bowl.

Diliberto didn’t live to see the day, dying in 2005. Taking his spot behind the mike, Hebert also inherited the vow. He’ll make good on it as part of a pep rally-style celebration Sunday before the Super Bowl scene shifts to Miami.

more here

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/ex-falcon-hebert-to-287299.html

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I’ll watch part of it, just so I can see my boy, Aaron Rodgers.

I find the previous comments funny: “It’s stupid to have the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl which I never watch anyway.”

I think it’s a great idea to have it this week. The Pro Bowl is always anti-climatic after the Super Bowl and the players from the two Super Bowl team don’t usually play anyway. It’s an exhibition game and hence meaningless, but it’s probably better to have this week as a filler between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.

Really, the only good all-star game is the baseball all-star game. The NBA and NHL all-star games are just point fests with no real defense or checking. The NFL Pro Bowl might as well be played as flag football with the rules they put in to discourage hitting.

But it’s still “football” and I’ll take it because after next week the only sporting events I look forward to are: March Madness, the Masters, the US and British Open, the Tour de France and then the start of the next football season.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2010 at 11:22 AM

The only reason they’re doing this is in hopes of improving ad revenue for the pro bowl, thinking that football starved fans will tune in whether the super bowl pros are there or not.

This, from the same bunch who won’t change the OT rules to allow at least one possession by both teams.

If they want better ratings, they’d be better off with a major NFL Cheerleader Super Bowl along the lines of the Victoria Secret/Hooters format, weighted heavily on the swimsuit competition.

TXUS on January 31, 2010 at 11:28 AM

If the NFL would allow Rush to get involved and get rid of scum like Vick, they might do better financially.

csdeven on January 31, 2010 at 11:31 AM

I think having the pro bowl this weekend is a great idea since I’ve never watched it before.

I donn’t like the empty week between the playoffs and the super bowl, plus I’ve never cared enough about the pro bowl to watch it before now. However, I think the pro bowl is a GREAT filler in this off week. Finally – a good move by the NFL.

I bet the television ratings for the pro bowl go up this year.

jaime on January 31, 2010 at 11:32 AM

If the NFL would allow Rush to get involved and get rid of scum like Vick, they might do better financially.

csdeven on January 31, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Or better yet – Olbermann.

jaime on January 31, 2010 at 11:33 AM

I won’t be watching it, bit I never watch it anyway…

oddball on January 31, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Bishop-at least to me it never gets old.
+1

——————————————-

I wonder if OchoStinko will wear bengals style prison stripes in honor of so many on his team./

CWforFreedom on January 31, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Vitter trucks Goodell: Who Dat say we can’t print Who Dat!

Christien on January 31, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I have never been a Pro Bowl watcher in the past, I may have seen a total of 10 to 15 minutes while channel surfing. This new time scam is not changing my habit either. Why would they play a Super Bowl player in this anyway? Makes no sense. It will not get me watching Pro Bowl as I waiting for Super Bowl. Geaux Saints!

sharkman on January 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Another commenter said it and it is funny, “Moving the Pro-Bowl to the week before the SuperBowl is stupid. I never watch it anyway…”

Another funny one is “We can’t see any of the SuperBowl stars play in the game…” yeah, it really stinks that you can’t watch any of the SuperBowl bound players in the pro-bowl as opposed to watching them – in the Super Bowl.

The family is watching the game today because it is this week. It’s filler, sure, but it’s football and it’s a game you can have fun watching. No one has a stake in the game, there is nothing to it other than simply watching the game for the fun of it, which is nice.

It’s a bid for more add revenue, sure. YThat’s a good thing. No one ever watched the Pro-Bowl before, maybe that will be different now.

catmman on January 31, 2010 at 12:23 PM

The game is stupid to begin with. A meaningless game where people can get injured.

crabtree on January 31, 2010 at 12:24 PM

As a life long football fan, Pro Bowl…..YAWN

jnelchef on January 31, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Once the Super Bowl is over, football is OVER. I can’t remember the last Pro Bowl I’ve watched. I’ll watch this one because I’m jones’n for football before the Super Bowl. This is one of Goodell’s few good ideas.

toliver on January 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

It sure seems the Steelers were “a different team” without TP.

Rovin on January 31, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Wow! They played the whole season without toilet paper?

TugboatPhil on January 31, 2010 at 12:29 PM

The Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl? What genius thought to do that?

And what genius decided to start the game at 7:20 PM EST? That’s a full 40 minutes later than the start of last Sunday’s NFC Title Game. That game lasted til real late.

And to add insult to injury, the game goes up against the Grammy Awards.

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 12:31 PM

This thing is a joke,who cares!

ohiobabe on January 31, 2010 at 12:41 PM

And to add insult to injury, the game goes up against the Grammy Awards.

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 12:31 PM

That has got to be a joke…

:)

catmman on January 31, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl…..atheletes may PREFER this.

Less layoff time, less chance for injuries. As a former “athlete” I like it.

A month layoff for the Players is dangerous, although one realizes the Pro-bowl intensity is dialed down Considerably, and that is also good for the Players.

JayTee on January 31, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Moving the Pro Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl is a bad idea for all the reasons mentioned. That being said, it has never been much of a game, and like most all-star games tends to be slow and boring. Lots of high fives, not a whole lot of action. Final score? Who cares. As Ed said, move the Super Bowl up a week.

simkeith on January 31, 2010 at 12:55 PM

The National Felons League. I haven’t watched the NFL since Roman Gabriel was traded from the Los Angeles Rams. Up until the 1970s, the NFL had some standards. Now, tattooed, pierced, ignorant, gang-members and criminals play. F–k the owners (like Frontierre, who thankfully croaked), and the MSM (for scheduling games at stupid times. The NFL should be play only on Sundays at 1pm). Ahhh, I long for the old days, when players were humble and kids had a sports hero to look up to.

Andy in Agoura Hills on January 31, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Andy in Agoura Hills on January 31, 2010 at 1:09 PM

All Star games are ridiculous in all sports. At least with the NFL, MLB and NHL, people usually don’t get shot unlike the NBA game.

angryed on January 31, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Back in the day, they didn’t used to skip a week before the super bowl, did they? Not an NFL fan, so I don’t pay attention.

Hey Ed, how about a weekly NASCAR thread beginning on 2/14? I bet there are as many nascar fans here as football fans. The Daytona 500 is in TWO WEEKS!! WHOOOT!!!!

The reason I am excited when the football season ends, is because that is when the next season for Survivor and The Amazing Race begin!! hehe

karenhasfreedom on January 31, 2010 at 1:40 PM

I guess I’m just getting old and stuck in a rut. It isn’t the Pro Bowl unless it is held the week after the Super Bowl and in Hawaii. Of course I am turning 46 this week, so I guess that explains it.

MeAlice on January 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones Drew, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain in the AFC Backfield, Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore and….. (two guys I never heard of) for the NFC.

AFC Has three of the best dunning backs and the single best full back in the league, while NFC has the other two best running backs, and a Running back & Fullback I never heard of.

Looking at the D-Line, the AFC has a Monster Defensive line NFc has a solid D.

Neither confrence has an excellent Offensive line. It’s a weird combo of pass-blockers and run-maulers…

NFC has a better lineup of Quarterbacks, but AFC has a better lineup of wide recievers.

I’m betting on AFC to win.

Jones Zemkophill on January 31, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Yep, this is an incredibly stupid decision to have the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl.
This has to be changed next year, and have the Pro Bowl a couple of weeks after the Super Bowl.

Geronimo on January 31, 2010 at 2:37 PM

and there are NINE Eagles in this game but somehow Sheldon Brown, the one guy on the team who actually deserves a spot, isn’t there. WTF??

das411 on January 31, 2010 at 2:38 PM

karenhasfreedom on January 31, 2010 at 1:40 PM

NASCAR, I pick the old man Martin to finally win the 500 and the Cup. (Hey the Saints made the Superbowl).

joeswampy on January 31, 2010 at 2:44 PM

catmman on January 31, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Well, most of it will be a joke, but Jeff Beck will be performing, and Carlos Santana and Ringo Starr will be presenters. Neil Young will be there to get a Special Merit Award, and one category has a bunch of great nominees:

Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance

“Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” – Bob Dylan
“Change In The Weather” – John Fogerty
“Dreamer” – Prince
“Working On A Dream” – Bruce Springsteen
“Fork in the Road” – Neil Young

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Even though the NFL commish is a first class jack ass, Ed’s offer to intervene on the Pro Bowl is unwise. Putting the Pro Bowl one week before the game name no one can say is a useful experiment for what previously has been a commercial debacle for the NFL. There are only so many S****Bowl perks the NFL can hand out to VIPs, Sponsors, etc — now they can load up a bunch of second tier perk recipients with tickets to the ProBowl, access to athletes and access to the S****Bowl venue. Plus, as a viewer I’ll be tuned in because it’s Sunday and I need my fix while the season is still on. I can’t say when was the last time the stars lined up for me to be in front of the TV when the NFL Hawaii party and post-s**** bowl scrimmage took place.

Mark30339 on January 31, 2010 at 3:14 PM

For those of you looking for an alternative or tire of the game, politically conservative comedian Larry the Cable guy latest act is on at 9ET. (He was on Hannity last week and goes on Hannity on occasion)

“Larry the Cable Guy: Tailgate Party” makes its World Premiere on Comedy Central Sunday January 31 at 9:00e / 8:00c.

Goodale on January 31, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Who watches the Pro Bowl anyway?

All it is is pretend football.

Dave R. on January 31, 2010 at 5:38 PM

In other NFL news, this is pretty funny, except to Vikings fans

When the Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings, Gov. Tim Pawlenty lost a bet which required him to play “When the Saints Go Marching In” on his weekly radio show and send Gov. Bobby Jindal a Viking cooler full of Minnesota beers.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar delivered homemade gumbo to the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu, making good on a wager. She had to wear a Drew Bees jersey.

Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak delivered to New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin three CDs of Minneapolis music from the independent music store The Electric Fetus.

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen lost a Minnesota meal (walleye and wild rice) to fellow GOP Rep. Steve Scalise.

The Louisiana lawmakers wagered much better food and music.

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 6:42 PM

NASCAR, I pick the old man Martin to finally win the 500 and the Cup. (Hey the Saints made the Superbowl).

joeswampy on January 31, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Go Old Man….

cobrakai99 on January 31, 2010 at 9:11 PM

I remember looking at this completely different. First of all, who watches the Pro Bowl, once the Superbowl is over? To me, once you play the Superbowl, football season is over, start watching hockey and basketball. Imagine baseball, playing the All Star Game after the World Series!
How many times do the players, from the Superbowl teams, decide they can’t make the Pro Bowl anyway?

I think this year was pretty slick. They’ve got the Pro Bowl in the same city as the Superbowl so that football fans can come to town a day or 2 early, catch the Pro Bowl and get ready for the Superbowl. I don’t know if that was going to be a constant, but you’d think they’d get better attendance than they do in Hawaii.

We’ll see how it all ends up. ONe thing is for sure, the airfare to Miami was a lot less than it would have been to Hawaii.

bflat879 on January 31, 2010 at 9:20 PM

We’ll see how it all ends up. ONe thing is for sure, the airfare to Miami was a lot less than it would have been to Hawaii.

bflat879 on January 31, 2010 at 9:20 PM

There are some very cheap airfares out there these days-not sure if any of this has to do with fallout from the underwear guy, but a couple of weeks ago I could get round trip from here in New Hampshire to Honolulu for $556.

Yes, that was roundtrip-not one way.)

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 10:56 PM

The Pro Bowl is meaningless. Do you honestly think these players go all out, risking injury for the sake of a meaningless game? It’s basically just a all expenses paid vacation for these guys in a warm part of the country.

tballard on January 31, 2010 at 11:42 PM

It was the most boring high scoring game I have ever seen.

DanStark on February 1, 2010 at 12:33 AM

They still play the Pro Bowl? Thought they stopped this foolish game years ago.

Wade on February 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM