NFL Pro Bowl style has a new look for 2010. This years game will be played one week before the Super Bowl in Miami instead of one week after in Hawaii. It's something new as the NFL attempts to attract more viewers.
Personally, I couldn't be more against this new setup for one simple reason. NFL players voted to All Pro squads who will also be playing in the Super Bowl are not allowed to participate. This is the main reason why I do not believe the Pro Bowl should be played before the Super Bowl. What's the point voting in players who cannot play by rule? Mind you there's no way in the world I would want one of my players risking injury before the Super Bowl which is precisely why the Pro Bowl must be played one week later, as always. It's current set up for this year (January 31) penalizes players who earned the right to represent their teams and fans who voted to see their favorite players suit up.
We're down to NFL's final four teams loaded with potential players not allowed to play if their teams reach the Super Bowl. What's wrong with this picture? A replacement cast of characters in the Pro Bowl? Super Bowl stars standing around on the sidelines? What's the point of playing? Money. Simply put, this is all about money. NFL will generate much more by scheduling both Pro and Super Bowl games in Miami. More hands on fans (coupled with Super Bowl week), NFL gambling on larger tv viewing audience, double revenues for Miami. If the NFL really wanted to bulk up their tv viewing audience then they should consider ditching special game rules. Since this is a showcase game the NFL has been very careful attempting to protect players from injuries by implimenting special rules barring blitzes and certain formations (probably a good idea). To make this game truly great then let the best of the best square off in straight up battle to bring meaning to these games. It won't happen. So since this will always be an exhibition game then return it to one week after the Super Bowl. Let all healthy starters play and drop Hawaii for stateside games in domed stadiums different from Super Bowl hosts.
Ok, enough critiquing. Here's my selections for AFC & NFC starters based on best players/position (reserves, replacement players excluded).
QB - Peyton Manning (Indy)
RB - Chris Johnson (Ten)
FB - Le'Ron McClain (Balt)
WR - Wes Welker (NE), Andre Johnson (Hou)
TE - Dallas Clark (Indy)
C - Nick Mangold (NYJ)
G - Alan Faneca (NYJ), Kris Dielman (SD)
T - D'Brickshaw Ferguson (NYJ), Jake Long (Mia)
DE - Dwight Freeney (Indy), Robert Mathis (Indy)
DT - Halati Ngata (Balt), Vince Wolfork (NE)
LB - Ray Lewis (Balt), James Harrison (Pit), Elvis Dumervil (Den)
CB - Darrelle Revis (NYJ), Nnamdi Asomugha (Oak)
FS - Ed Reed (Balt)
SS - Brian Dawkins (Den)
P - Shane Lechler (Oak)
K - Nate Kaedling (SD) ... almost dropped him after watching 0-3 choke vs Jets yesterday.
PR - Josh Cribbs (Cle)
KR - Josh Cribbs (Cle)
Coach - Jim Caldwell (Indy)
QB - Drew Brees (NO), Brett Favre (Min) (tie)
RB - Steven Jackson (StL)
FB - Leonard Weaver (Phi)
WR - Larry Fitzgerald (AZ), Steve Smith (NYG)
TE - Vernon Davis (SF)
C - Andre Gurode (Dal)
G - Steve Huchinson (Min), Jahri Evans (NO)
T - Bryant McKinney (Min), Jason Peters (Phi)
DE - Jared Allen (Min), Trent Cole (Phi)
DT - Kevin Williams (Min), Jay Ratliff (Dal)
LB - Jonathan Vilma (NO), DeMarcus Ware (Dal), Patrick Willis (SF)
CB - Asante Samuel (Phi), Charles Woodson (GB)
FS - Darren Sharper (NO)
SS - Adrian Wilson (AZ)
P - Ben Graham (AZ)
K - Ryan Longwell (Min)
PR - DeSean Jackson (Phi)
KR - Percy Harvin (Min)
Coach - Sean Payton (NO)
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