Joe Flacco-Vince Young: Did Young Steal Flacco's First Pro-Bowl Selection?
The Pro Bowl is supposed to be one of the greatest honors an individual player can receive.
It gives recognition of performance on the football field, putting the invited individual amongst elite company.
I myself have been a big supporter of the significance in being selected to the Pro Bowl. Although I have admitted the voting process has its flaws.
This year might very well be one of those flawed instances.
Philip Rivers earned a selection to the Pro Bowl this year but had to decline due to injury. The same was the case with Tom Brady who was replaced by Matt Schaub (the man may have deserved Brady's spot to begin with).
They looked to Ben Roethlisberger (who might have deserved Brady's spot as well) to replace Rivers but he declined to participate.
Which brought us to Vince Young.
At first, I thought it might have been a typo, a gag, or a mistake.
But no, it really was Vince Young and he is indeed headed to a second Pro Bowl appearance.
I give credit to Young: he had the best season of his career (for the little time he played). But did his performance really warrant a selection to the Pro Bowl?
I would have nominated Joe Flacco.
Despite the fact that his Ravens did not play quite as well or advance quite as far as they did in 2008, Flacco evolved as a passer by leaps and bounds.
Certainly, his performance warranted a Pro Bowl selection by being a third alternate (after Schaub who accepted and Roethlisberger who declined).
But instead, the flaws within the Pro Bowl voting system have managed to rear their ugly heads.
If we're talking about production and performance on the football field, it's not even close.
Joe Flacco 2009:
315 of 499 (63.1) for 3,613 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Quarterback rating: 88.9
35 rushing attempts for 56 yards.
Vince Young 2009:
152 of 259 (58.7) for 1,879 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.
Quarterback rating: 82.8
55 rushing attempts for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns.
While I understand that Young's production couldn't benefit from having played an entire season of football, that doesn't mean that we can credit Young with having done so.
His past performance on the football field was the reason he sat on the bench at the beginning of the season to begin with and even when we look at their production on a game to game basis, Flacco still performed and produced at a higher level.
This isn't meant to be a knock on Vince Young. He deserves massive credit for turning his career around and improving his performance a great deal.
But we're talking about a player who has a great comeback story and another who had been, quite simply, a quality contributor over the course of an entire season.
Now, I'm not sure which of the three aspects of the voting process (coaches, players, or fans) contributed to Young's selection ahead of Flacco's, but the end result does call for greater attention to be placed upon the voting process.
In years past, the online voting polls included each player's statistical performance in an effort to help aid the voters' selection process.
This year, there was nothing but names to select from, which I would imagine might contribute to a flawed voting result.
I am all for the fans having their voices heard but the fact of the matter is that fans as a whole have not displayed an ability to remain impartial.
Fans of larger market teams and players with greater name-recognition earn votes for things not pertaining to their performance on the field.
I see no reason why the opinions of the fans (who, by their very nature, are often biased) should hold as much weight as the players and coaches who are actually involved in the intricate aspects of the game itself.
Congratulations to Vince Young for having a final shot to end his comeback season on a positive note. Just know that Joe Flacco will instead have to sit home and watch the game on television as a reward for his efforts.
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