This year’s NFL Pro Bowl voting has concluded, and lots of the usual suspects are listed on the roster. Three Nittany Lions made the team and thus deserve a shout-out here: linebackers Cameron Wake of the AFC Miami Dolphins, Tamba Hali of the AFC Kansas City Chiefs and Navorro Bowman of the NFC San Francisco Forty-Niners. (Thanks to reader Joe for noting my original omission of Mr. Wake.)
Penn State —Linebacker U — keeps on producing Pro Bowl caliber linebackers. Were it not for injury and playing for crappy teams, Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys and Paul Posluszny of the Jacksonville Jaguars (pronounced JAG-wires by some sports announcers, for yet unknown reasons, while in England it’s pronounced JAG-you-ares) probably would have been going to Hawaii, too.
The turkey’s favorite back story of this year’s Pro Bowl is the magnificent dominance of the 49ers’ linebacking corps. Three linebackers, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, and Bowman were selected. Smith and Willis are Pro Bowl starters.
Of course, the voting method is flawed. Anything involving fan votes always will be fickle and voguish. Fans have been known to vote in players who have been injured for half a year while passing over small media market players who actually can play at a high level. The crappy team/small media market effect evidenced itself once again this year. Eight teams had no Pro Bowl players: Carolina, Philadelphia and St. Louis in the NFC, and Tennessee, Buffalo, Jacksonville, San Diego and Oakland in the AFC, yet names of several superb performers on those teams come to mind. Never mind who — they didn’t make it.
The Pro Bowl will be played in Honolulu, on January 27.