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I hate to say this because not only does it make me sound old but it’s also a tired saying….

But back in my day making the Pro Bowl meant something.  It meant you were one of the best players at your position and for all your hard work you got some bonus pay, a trip to Hawaii and got to play a meaningless game that somehow managed to draw millions of viewers even when the play was anything but competitive.  It was cool to scope the rosters and see how many players on your favorite team got selected.

Nowadays, being a Pro Bowler doesn’t mean a damn thing.  The game isn’t even a game anymore. It’s a series of events that may or may not have anything to do with football.  Not only that but it no longer includes the best of the best in the NFL.  At this point, it’s the “Who will agree to come to this” Games. Last year, Ravens backup QB Tyler Huntley was a Pro Bowler.  He had racked up a monster 658 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in four starts in 2022.  He was considered the fourth alternate that year, somehow.  I couldn’t even tell you who is even on the rosters these days.

This year, Gardner Minshew of the Colts is headed or Orlando.  No word on how many guys said no before he said yes but Minshew’s stats, while much better than Huntley a year ago, at no point made you think he was a Pro Bowler at any point.  He had fifteen touchdowns to nine interceptions for 3,305 yards.  Not bad stats but not Pro Bowl worthy.

That’s the problem.  No one wants to play in this thing anymore.  The trip to Honolulu is no longer a perk.  Instead, you get Orlando.  Nothing against Orlando, I love it personally, but it ain’t Honolulu.  And it’s not like you’re even playing at Disney World, you’re about 30 minutes away (not including the hell on earth that is I-4 traffic) at the former Citrus Bowl.  The series of events are headlined by a flag football game, dodgeball and other events.   The fact that prices range from $25-600+ is absolutely insane.  More insane is the folks plucking down money to sit and watch it all unfold.

If it truly was best of the best then Zaire Franklin would be there.  But he isn’t, because Ravens linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen made it ahead of him. Had the Ravens beaten the Chiefs, he would be in.  Minshew is in because Mahomes, along with however many other guys said no.  So it’s a luck of the draw situation as an alternate.

So let’s no longer use the Pro Bowl designation as some great achievement because it’s clearly no longer that.  Look to the All-Pro team rosters.  That’s where you get the best of the best across the league.

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