For a game that few watch and everyone ridicules, the Pro Bowl all of a sudden seems to matter a lot to a lot of people when a deserving player from their team doesn’t get selected.
Of course, London Fletcher deserved to get into the Pro Bowl over Brian Urlacher and, given the fact that he hasn’t played since Thanksgiving, Patrick Willis. But it is not news that Pro Bowl votes are often based on reputation and past accomplishments and on team won-loss records. That has been the case ever since the first Pro Bowl.
(For that matter, it’s probably been that way since Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward put together the first baseball All-Star game in at Comiskey Park in 1933. Did Indians’ pitcher Oral Hildebrand really deserve to get in over Detroit’s Tommy Bridges, who was having a much better season?)
And as far at that goes, I didn’t hear anyone in Redskins Nation complaining when the reputation factor worked in the Redskins’ favor. For example, Chris Samuels was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. There were times when he was not having one of his better seasons when he went to Hawaii over more deserving players.
I am second to nobody in my respect for Fletcher, both on and off the field. He and many other deserving players were left off of the team in favor of lesser players. But to me, the complaining about Pro Bowl spots for players on a team with a record like the Redskins have had in the past 20 years gets to be like complaining about the officials’ calls. There is a way to fix both of them. If the refs’ flags don’t fall you way, score more points. If you want to get more players in the Pro Bowl, win more games.