NFL Pro Bowl 2010: Why Change The System?

AJ CusimanoCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2009

Chicago Bears Brendon Ayambadejo during the NFL Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 10, 2007  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Each year at this time of year, fans, media, players and coaches discuss who are the best of the recent football year.  Like every popularity vote, there are flaws in the manner in which these beauty contests take place.  Who was the best, who made the most impact, why wasn't player A chosen?  The NFL has added another dimension to this vote:  Which player voted in, will not play because their team is in the Super Bowl.  Moving the Pro Bowl prior to the Super Bowl certainly has it limitations!

It seems to me that the voting should remain in the hands of the players, coaches and select media.  I understand why it was expanded to the fans, but it makes no sense to me.  Just as in MLB, fans flood the voting for their favorite players.  While that only represents one third of the votes it still creates situations where some players are excluded.

Case in point, is at the fullback position in the NFC.  Leonard Weaver from the Eagles was voted in.  However if one takes a closer look at performances and contribution to their respective teams, Jason Snelling was certainly more important to the Falcons.  Snelling out-gained Weaver and had more touchdowns.

Another travesty of the system is Steve Smith of the Giants.  He truly was Mr. Third Down for Eli Manning.  He is third in the NFL with 97 catches and has eclipsed the Giant record formerly held by Amani Toomer.

Is Eli Manning the 7th best Quarterback in the NFC, based upon his statistics and contribution to the Giants I say no.  He is having by far his best year, and without his leadership and contribution, the Giants may have been fighting the Lions and Rams for the worst record in the NFC.

I realize not many people care about the Pro Bowl, but it does represent accolades for a team and its players.  Why mess with a system that seemed to be working?  Let's move it back to after the Super Bowl and in Hawaii.  It would give me reason to save my money and attend the game!