Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pro Bowl Complaints

I think that after the blogosphere has time to digest today's pro-bowl rosters there are going to be some very upset people. And rightfully, for even I feel somewhat slighted. Most egregious was the om mission of Joe Thomas in favor of Jonathan Ogden. And I don't want the "but he's a rookie" talk. What does that have to do with winning and losing, and playing the best left tackle in the AFC.

But that's not what I'm writing about now. I think that this subject is one that is valid, but I think a little irrelevant. Who cares about the pro-bowl. The well known former trivia question of "who was the only Brown to make the pro-bowl since 1999" is no longer a question thanks to Braylon Ettwards and Joshua Cribbs. Hopefully they don't tear every ligament in their leg next year during the first pre-season game a la Jamir "fact that he was our only pro-bowler is the only reason anyone remembers him" Miller.

It is irrelevant. That team went 7-9. This team will most likely at least go 10-6. That team featured Benjamin Gay, Percy Ellsworth and Jujuan Dawson in prominent roles. This one has Jamal, Sean Jones and Winslow. The pro-bowl doesn't matter. The lack of respect doesn't matter.

It is always fodder for teams to use "lack of respect" as locker room chalk board material.

"No one believed we could do this but us."

"We proved the critics wrong."

No you didn't. You finished in last place last year and no one expected you to make the playoffs based on that. Your starting quarterback lost the job in preseason to a guy who was worth a second day draft pick, and your biggest free agent signee in the last two years gets his mail at the Cleveland Clinic. You lost on opening day by 30 to a team that finished .500 last year and had a new coach..at home.

Of course we thought you sucked...because you sucked. So now when Winslow, Thomas, Steinbach et al get snubbed for the pro-bowl we're supposed to eat this up as more disrespect? The two are NOT related. In one case, the "lack of respect" was based on prior results, empirical data and pretty concrete and visable facts. This "lack of respect" is based on and ignorant media and lazy coaches/players.

What role does the media have?? They are the ones that portray the players and establish a consciousness about who they are. Winslow has significantly more catches, significantly more yards and is on a significantly more potent offense than Antonio Gates, but is portrayed as an immature hothead.

Joe Thomas is on a MUCH better offense than Ogden, anchors a much more dominating O line than Ogden and has played in significantly more games - and oh by they way, has given up 2 sacks all year - but is portrayed as a "rookie" in the NFL which apparently has something to do with play - despite starting in week 1.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this "disrespect" for Browns players has nothing to do with real disrespect, just ignorance and laziness. I am willing to bet that every right end that has played Baltimore and Cleveland this year would vote for Thomas, just like I am willing to bet that every defensive coordinator that had to scheme against both Kansas City and Cleveland this year, would vote for Winslow. It isn't "disrespect" - it is ignorance.

And it is IRRELEVANT (I am somewhat scolding myself). Move on, beat the Bengals, beat the niners, beat the Squealers for one time. People that were born on the day the last time they beat the Squealers just turned 4. They start Kindgergarden next year. Don't worry about the disrespect and just go out and win.

Only then will superior players be recognized as superior.


p.s. Congratulations to my alma mater, Kent State, for sending not 1, not 2, but three grads to the pro bowl. Granted one of them never played football and the other sold pot, but still three probowlers is better than most schools. Even if one of them didn't deserve it.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I would like to point out however, that a third Brown will be making the Pro-bowl this year. As Lorenzo Niel is out for the season that should put, you guessed it, Laurence Vickers in as the starting Full Back.