And not one of them is Richard Sherman.
While I agree that leaving him out was a reckless omission, I’m finding it hard to give much of a shit. 13 year old me would be furious, because 13 year old me thought the world of the Pro Bowl. 13 year old me was also a big Madonna fan, could barely write a single paragraph without getting bored and giving up, and his favorite movie was Bloodsport. OK, so 13 year old me had some awesome qualities, but he was also kind of an obsessive dip about football who didn’t realize that the Pro Bowl is a meaningless exhibition. A slight to a deserving Seahawk was like some bully picking on my little brother or something; if ANYONE is going to disparage my favorite football team, it’s going to be ME!
13 year old me (or maybe it was 14 or 15 year old me) once made a bet that the Seahawks wouldn’t make the playoffs in that particular season. It went down to the wire, but the Seahawks didn’t disappoint. So, instead of being on the receiving end of a Bowl Haircut, I got to be in charge of shaving my uncle’s (already balding) head. To say I had no confidence in this organization is an understatement, but I’m getting a little off topic. The point is, I still cared. I still wanted to see my favorite players represented in the end-of-season all star game. I wanted to see how they performed amongst the greats around the league. Really, I just wanted to see as much of Cortez Kennedy as humanly possible.
For some reason, and don’t ask me why, a fond memory I have of the Pro Bowl (probably my only fond memory, but that says more about how I’ve destroyed my brain cells than anything else) is when Warren Moon played for the Seahawks and was the 3rd quarterback in the AFC. He led a furious comeback, punctuated by (I believe) a run into the endzone. He won the Pro Bowl MVP and I was ecstatic.
I don’t know what happened between then and now. Probably learning about how you can’t touch the quarterback, how you’re not allowed to blitz, how none of the players actually try, how some of the very best players aren’t allowed to play because they decided to move the game to the week before the Super Bowl, how half the league doesn’t even participate because they get injured, or they fake an injury, or they just don’t give a shit … I mean, that’s gotta rub off on you after a while, right? I know football is great and everything, but I’m not going to sit here and watch just because a bunch of guys throw a ball around while wearing pads and helmets. No amount of star power is going to draw my attention to glorified flag football, so what’s the point?
Russell Okung and Max Unger were named starters, so that’s awesome. I seem to remember, earlier this year, floating the b-word around Okung’s name. As the season has progressed, “bust” is the furthest thing from Okung, and this nomination is the proof. He’s healthy, he has REMAINED healthy, he cut out the false starts, and he’s become a dominant force at left tackle. Winning this award could be the beginning of something great. We’ve found our replacement for Walter Jones; that’s HUGE. It’s what I’ve always wanted.
Marshawn Lynch and Earl Thomas were named backups. Hard to argue. Adrian Peterson is a fucking Terminator, but Lynch is clearly the 2nd best running back in the NFL, so it’s only fitting he be named to the team. Oh, by the way, remember that year where we drafted both Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in the first round and they became the best at their respective positions? Yeah, that was 2010. Three seasons in, and look at us now.
Leon Washington rounds out the five choices as the NFC return man. I don’t know how much longer the guy will be around, but it’s awesome to see that he’s still playing at an elite level. Considering where he was when he broke his leg, this is a pretty big deal for him and his family; I couldn’t be happier for him.
Among the first alternates, we’ve got the aforementioned (and deserving) Richard Sherman. We’ve also got Michael Robinson (arguably a bigger snub than Sherman when you consider Minnesota hardly even USES their fullback, meanwhile Robinson is probably the best lead blocker in the league) and Chris Clemons (of the three straight seasons with 11 or more sacks fame).
As second alternates, we have Kam Chancellor (a pro bowler last season), Heath Farwell (as “special teamer”, which would’ve been totally deserving, but I have no idea about the players picked ahead of him), and Jon ‘MVP’ Ryan (second-fewest touchbacks in the NFL with 2; is it his fault that we’ve only punted 60 times this year, good for 4th-fewest in the league?).
Third alternate (and therefore, apparently the 6th-best quarterback in the NFC) is Russell Wilson.
And, fourth alternate is Brandon Mebane.
That’s all interesting and everything, but I still don’t plan on watching. I’ll be too busy all lathered up about the Seahawks making the Super Bowl …