Please excuse me, but I will never understand the point of any professional sports all star game, especially the NFL incarnation, the Pro Bowl. I would just as soon have each team select 2 players and they enter a Battle of the Network stars competition or competitive eating challenge than to play a game as meaningless as this. And make no mistake, it’s not just the fans that don’t care, the players don’t either. Most players have clauses in their contracts that award them a bonus if selected to the Pro Bowl, however it never applies to them actually having to make the trip. So the incarnation announced today likely won’t resemble the guys who will be on the sidelines for the game.
Along those lines the Pittsburgh Steelers got 2 players selected to the Pro Bowl, one who certainly won’t be attending and one who may not. First is tight end Heath Miller. Miller has been a star this season for the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target for almost the entire year. As much as the Pro Bowl is a simple popularity contest the inclusion of Miller as the AFC representative makes perfect sense. However, after suffering a significant knee injury in the Steelers game last weekend he won’t be attending, so one of the tight end understudies will have to replace him.
The other selection is that of center Maurkice Pouncey. I have been very critical of Pouncey this season and while I think he’s played well in light of all the injuries around him, but is he one of the top 2 centers in the AFC? Hardly. He got pushed around far too much for me to even consider him. But because he’s been selected in the past it makes it easier for voters to recognize him and keep putting him in, even if he’s likely outside the top 5 of centers in his conference.
I’ve read several articles that have talked about which Steelers players didn’t get voted in that should have. Why on Earth does anyone care? I’ll never get the argument about being snubbed from an exhibition like this. The selection process with trivial and the replacement process is deep. It’s like when you were running for 8th grade class treasurer and you handed out candy to kids to get them to vote for you. I’ve never been one to get excited when a Steelers player is picked, or upset when one gets left off. But for the rest of you, rage on.
Follow me on Twitter @nfldraftboard and tell me about how safety Ryan Clark was disrespected for missing the Pro Bowl, or whomever else.