Ah, The Pro Bowl. A collection of the NFL’s best and brightest. The cream of the crop that rose to the top and gets together for one of the most meaningless and uninspiring exercises in all of pro sports. Yes, the Pro Bowl is awful, and we’ve known that for many years.
But it seems as though when it comes to this year’s installment of this riveting all-star game, the NFL has decided to take the word ‘meaningless’ and really run with it. That leads to me to our Bills. 7 – yes, 7 – Bills from the 2016 team have been invited to this Sunday’s Pro Bowl in Orlando. And to top it off, the majority of those invites came from the defense! That’s right – that same defense that proved to be Swiss cheese when it counted the most in 2016.
The list includes RB LeSean McCoy, LB Lorenzo Alexander, LB Zach Brown, OG Richie Incognito, DT Kyle Williams, CB Stephon Gilmore and QB Tyrod Taylor. McCoy and Alexander were the 2 original designates from The Bills, and both selections were well-deserved. McCoy was dominant and a major threat every time he touched the ball. Alexander was a great story – a 10-year veteran journeyman whose career was pretty pedestrian until he showed up in Buffalo, where he busted out for a huge and unexpected year (12.5 sacks – tied for 3rd in the NFL)
Beyond those 2 guys, a case could be made for Richie Incognito. The Bills were a top running team and he had a lot to do with it. Beyond that – WHATEVER. 3 defensive players from a lousy defense and a QB who – while incredibly athletic and possibly held back by a depleted receiving corps – has proven to be quite average. Most of us really like Tyrod, but guys like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers make their money in the middle of the field, those 15 to 20-yard intermediate throws. Tyrod is allergic to that part of the field, and after 2 years he has yet to show that he can really carry the team on his back and win when it matters most – the sign of a true franchise QB. But he has been invited to the Pro Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year. Alrighty, then.
Hey – good for those guys. They can add it to their resumes and their agents have more ammunition at their disposal to get their clients paid. And these guys should get every dollar they can get based on the short shelf-life of the average player, not to mention the toll this game takes on their bodies and minds (more on that in future columns) and how disposable they become to ownership the minute they lose a step or don’t fit into the plans (more on that in future columns as well).
But come on. 7 invites from this 7-9 team? That’s one invite per win. Yikes. Just when you thought the Pro Bowl couldn’t mean any less. I’ll take less invites and more wins, please. I’m sure I’m not alone.
Thanks for reading.