As a fan of the NFL, one thing that never fails is that many people — whether it be fans or individuals who cover the league for a living — get worked up over the announcement of who has been selected as a Pro Bowl player. I mean people get real worked up over why certain players are selected or others and make a big deal of who they feel got snubbed. Given that the league continues to want to play this useless game, it is understandable to certain extent why people get as worked up as they do over who is named a Pro Bowler.
At the same time, for fans of a particular team having one or more players selected as a Pro Bowler is a great source of pride while serving as an acknowledgement of the efforts and play of said player or players. If you root for a team like the San Francisco 49ers who is 11-4 and secured a playoff berth, you figure more than one player on the team will be selected as Pro Bowlers. Well the 49ers were honored to have eight players selected as Pro Bowlers which sees them tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for most amongst any team in the league.
It is no secret that the 49ers are considered to have one of the most talented squads in all the league, but that does not always mean that players who play up to their potential and abilities will see their efforts recognized given that Pro Bowl selections can sometimes be arbitrary and a popularity contest. But in the case of the eight 49ers players who on Friday were announced as Pro Bowlers, four on offense and four on defense, each of them rightfully earned their respective selection.
On offense, Frank Gore and his 1,114 yards and nine rushing touchdowns make him an obvious selection as he has once again proven to be one of the best running backs in the NFC. Even when he faces eight man fronts he is able to pick up big yardage, showing how good of a running back he truly is. Along the same lines, Vernon Davis and his 49 receptions for 805 and 12 touchdowns only highlight one part of why he has been the best tight end in the NFC so far this season even though Jimmy Graham has more impressive numbers. Also the play of Joe Staley and Mike Iupati rightfully earned them Pro Bowl selections as their importance was seen in the last three weeks, each of which were 49ers wins.
On defense, the selections of Patrick Willis and Justin Smith are no-brainers as both players continued to prove why they are the best or one of the two or three best at their respective positions. The selection of NaVorro Bowman as a Pro Bowler serves to highlight the fact that his play merits serious defensive player of the year consideration. Finally the starting linebacker who most gets lost in the shuffle, Ahamad Brooks, was finally rewarded with a Pro Bowl selection as his play since last season has been that of a Pro Bowler.
To see all eight get this honor speaks well of their play and how well the 49ers have played. That said, I am sure they and all 49ers fans don’t want them playing in the game as they would rather be preparing to play in the game that everyone wants to play in the following weekend — the Super Bowl.