NFL Pro Bowl: If I Was London Fletcher

Dan YokeCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 21:  Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher #59 returns an interception for a touchdown as Leonard Pope #82 of the Arizona Cardinals tries to tackle him in second quarter action at FedEx Field October 21, 2007 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Cardinals 21-19.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

London Fletcher received an invitation to the Pro Bowl today due to the fact that Jonathan Vilma will be unable to play in the game because he will be participating in the Super Bowl.  If I was London Fletcher, I would tell the Pro Bowl committee to shove this first-alternate pity appointment up their a$$.

The guy gets passed over every year.  Now he gets his chance only because the guy that he should have beaten in the first place gets ruled out on a technicality?  Screw that!

First of all, I think the fact that Allen Iverson got voted into the NBA All Star Game this year proves once and for all that any All-Star game that relies on fan voting is a joke.

Secondly, the mere fact that the Pro Bowl will be played without representation from the two best teams from now on due to moving the game in front of the Super Bowl makes the game irrelevant.

Please end this charade Mr. Goodell.  The players don't play hard, and the fans don't care.  The first release of the Pro Bowl roster is much more exciting than the game itself.  Put out an All-Pro list and be done with it. 

The NCAA puts out its list of All-Americans every year.  It is a major achievement to be on it because it isn't voted on by fans.  It is voted on by people who actually watch and understand the game.  When the list comes out they don't go on and play a game.  Just making the list is enough.

This is the model the NFL should follow.  Let's do away with the game and the fan voting. 

I voted for the Pro Bowl.  I am pretty knowledgeable and I really try to vote based on merit.  But I must admit that there were about 10 or 12 positions where I knew very little about who deserved a spot.  So I looked for a name I recognized.  I looked for a player who I knew was good, even though I wasn't sure if he had a great season THIS year.

Believe me, I put more thought into it than most fans do.  But I admit that my vote shouldn't mean anything. 

I at least try to be objective.  Many fans line ballots with players from one team.  Some fans vote 10,000 times.  Some fans like players because they are cute, or have pretty uniforms (inside joke: Ralph Cirella).

Everyone agrees that the BCS is a flawed system.  But it remains in place because it is very lucrative for the NCAA.  The Pro Bowl is not a big money maker.  Most fans can't afford to go to it, and most veterans fake injuries to get out of playing in it.

Goodell knows that the Pro Bowl is flawed.  He tried to boost interest last year by moving the game to the week before the Super Bowl.  This move is the equivalent of performing CPR on a three-day-old corpse.

Enough already.  Every knowledgeable football fan knows that London Fletcher is a great player and that the Pro Bowl is pointless.  I know that Fletcher really wants to be acknowledged as a Pro-Bowl caliber linebacker.  But this seems more like a consolation prize than an award.

London Fletcher is a great player and a savvy veteran.  When the Pro Bowl committee calls him he should act like most veteran players who HAVE received multiple Pro Bowl nods.

He should tell them he can't play because of a slightly tweaked hamstring