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February 06, 2008
by Robbie Gillies
No, this isn't going to be about how the actual game means nothing (which it doesn't), or some plea for players to bring their "A" game. This is about how being a Pro Bowler means nothing.
This year, 13 players originally selected to the Pro Bowl have opted out due to injury or personal reasons. This means 13 players that aren't deserving of the Pro Bowl fill in for those that were deserving. I'm not even complaining about the players that opt out. I think it's their right to do so, especially those that are just coming off a grueling long playoff run. But, being a Pro Bowler should mean something, and with so many players opting out, it balloons the number of players who can call themselves Pro Bowl players. How can those 13 replacement players consider themselves true Pro Bowlers? I understand that the roster spots need to be filled (otherwise the AFC would have just one RB), but these players should not have the honor of calling themselves Pro Bowl players.
The solution? Those that opt out of attending the Pro Bowl forfeit the money they receive for making the Pro Bowl and their replacements receive the payment, but the replacements aren't technically Pro Bowlers. There needs to be a distinction between Pro Bowler and Pro Bowl alternate, because let's face it, Derek Anderson is no Tom Brady.