The Pro Bowl is one incredible contradiction. With contract bonuses to be triggered and respect to be metered out, players care about the Pro Bowl from the moment they're selected (or snubbed) to the moment at which they actually have to show up and play the game, at which point they lose all interest and stuff like LeSean McCoy's embarrassing touchdown run from last year happens. Fans care about the snubbing, too, and then pretend to not give a rip about the entire thing, even though the game did a 7.3 television rating last year, only slightly below the 7.6 average produced by this year's World Series.
At any rate, with the end of the season approaching and the voting process for players and coaches finishing up today, I've gone through my notes and put together my picks for AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams. First, I'm changing a few of the rules. I'm picking only 11 guys on each side of the ball for each team; I'll leave the injury replacement process that ends up with Blaine Gabbert and Mark Sanchez taking Pro Bowl reps to you guys. It's more fun this way. I'm also dumping the fullback and playing two tight ends. On the defensive side of the ball, I'm picking three defensive linemen, three linebackers, and using the seventh spot as a flex option between the two, basically to have a designated pass rusher. I'm not differentiating between front seven players on the interior or on the edge, because it's dumb to compare a 3-4 defensive end who's supposed to burst through the interior or occupy linemen to a 4-3 defensive end who pins his ears back and rushes the passer without any concern for the run. These are all changes the league should make anyway, so when Simmons becomes Sports Czar, he can point to this paragraph as his Pro Bowl manifesto.