Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Feb 2007

Brees Dislocates Non-Throwing Elbow

Drew Brees apparently dislocated his left elbow during the Pro Bowl on Saturday. Brees sure does like getting hurt at the end of the season in relatively meaningless affairs.

And since there was no discussion thread for the Pro Bowl, feel free to put your comments and discussion about the game in here.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 11 Feb 2007

72 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2007, 3:02am by Jared Schreckengast

Comments

1
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 1:53am

I think that pretty much sums up the Pro Bowl, don't you?

2
by Mac (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:10am

1 comment in almost 2 hours...we sure love our Pro Bowl!

3
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:17am

Too bad for Brees, I hope he's better by next season.

Hmmm...does anyone think this could make more players take the "Marvin Harrison" route to avoiding Pro Bowl injuries, by not playing in the game?

4
by Stereochemistry (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:43am

The Probowl was so bad this year, the CBS HDTV cameras didn't make the flight because of undisclosed injuries too.

5
by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:44am

The Pro Bowl is a joke. I haven't watched it since I was in elementary school and didn't know any better.

Pro Bowl appearances-
Vince Young- 1
Ray Nitschke- 0

Any questions?

6
by Carlos (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:53am

seriously, does anyone actually watch this thing? I watched once for 15 minutes in elementary school and couldn't stand it.

7
by tunesmith (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:59am

Allll right. I watched, from midway through the third quarter. Some Washington guy smeared a punter... and Hester had a freakishly good return. And Romo did some good stuff. And some other stuff happened, and the AFC won, and nobody cared.

8
by MJK (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:03am

It was kind of on in the background at a bar I was at, so I saw like four minutes of it. Reggie Wayne scored a long TD from Carson Palmer, which I thought was pretty cool until I realized that a Colt had caught it... ;-) Oh, and some Bengal named Johnson played some. Which Bengal Johnson was in the Pro-Bowl--Chad or Rudi? Whoever it was caught a pass on a medium crossing route, so it could have been either a RB or a WR...

9
by Yaxley (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:32am

I didn't even realize it was today, or I might have at least glanced at it.

10
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 4:17am

I decided to watch for a bit this year, since it had been 10-15 years. I just wanted to make sure it's still worthless and boring.

I did catch the Taylor hit though. I'm sure you'll all see a highlight, but basically the AFC ran a fake punt and the punter was running for the first down and Sean Taylor absolutely annihilated him, full speed head-on collision, shoulder into chest. The guy wasn't injured though.

As dumb as he is, I wouldn't be surprised if Taylor doesn't understand the difference between this game and a regular one.

11
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 4:25am

Link to a video of the hit. Now that I've seen it again, it's really quite spectacular.

12
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 6:05am

"The Pro Bowl is a joke. I haven’t watched it since I was in elementary school and didn’t know any better.

Pro Bowl appearances-
Vince Young- 1
Ray Nitschke- 0"

How about this:
Super Bowl appearances-
Rex Grossman- 1
Warren Moon- 0

So is the Super Bowl a joke, too?

13
by lastchance (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 6:21am

The super bowl is about which team is the best in the game.

The pro bowl is about which players are the best in the game. *duh*

14
by Kami (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 8:57am

Hehe, Alex is silly.

15
by Kami (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 9:02am

Oh ya, and Sean Taylor is a douchebag.

One of the best punters in the game has earned the right to go to Hawaii and run a play that he might never get the chance to run in any real game. So Sean Taylor hits him as if it were, in fact, a real game. And then he's all pumped up about obliterating a guy half his size afterwards slapping hands on the sideline after the play. My god what a spectacular douche.

16
by tim (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 9:58am

Suggs almost took out Brees' knee ligaments on the play where he dislocated his elbow, if his left foot had stayed planted after the throw it would have been awful.

17
by SJM (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 11:50am

Taylor just wanted to let everyone know that he was actually in the game.

Anyway, if this was a real game would anyone be criticizing Taylor? He didn't do anything dangerous or illegal. It was the cleanest hit possible, he just hit Moorman hard. But let's all call him a douche for actually playing hard. If an offensive player made a big, high effort play that rocked someone, everyone would be congratulating him for caring in a meaningless game.

18
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 1:24pm

Re #13

Oh yeah well how about Detroit Lions Super Bowl appearances: zero...

Oh, wait, nevermind.

19
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:09pm

Re 13, 14:
Fair enough. I guess I just don't see how every Pro Bowl in history is discredited because (insert your favorite player here) didn't play in one, but Vince Young got in this year. By the way, Ray Nitschke was selected for the 1964 Pro Bowl, so I don't quite understand the point of saying he never appeared in one: That Vince Young actually played when he was selected, while Ray Nitschke didn't? That's supposed to convince me that the Pro Bowl is stupid?

Look, I don't really care, I just don't like that particular argument.

20
by are-tee (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:15pm

I think people would be far more interested in the game if it were played right before pre-season, as everyone is starved for football. I'm aware there are logistical problems (players changing teams and conferences since the last season, injuries would have a greater impact, etc.)

21
by David (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:35pm

I have to admit I liked watching Romo botch opportunity after opportunity for an NFC comeback before finally getting one handed to him by Devin Hester (on an absolutely amazing punt return, meaningless game or not). I wondered why Payton didn't send Brees in there; I figured he was trying to protect his star QB, but I guess it was too late for that.

22
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:39pm

#19: Young wasn't selected, though. He was an injury replacement. Presumedly the second one as well, as Brady was probably the first alternate, but likely withdrew from consideration for personal reasons.

23
by Ben (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:51pm

Young was the third alternate, after Brady and (I think) McNair.

24
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:55pm

The Pro Bowl is the second worst all star game in American sports, second only to the NHL all star game.

Worse than some of the pro bowl selections, however, is that the NBA all star starters are chosen by the fans, which is why a hurt dude is "starting" at center and the best point guard in the league is coming off the bench.

Fans are stupid.

And yes, I was freaking out when Drew got hurt.

25
by SteveNC (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:06pm

Why was the Pro Bowl on Saturday instead of Sunday? Were they worried about competition from that Grammy show? Or are they trying to make the ratings even lower by changing the day?

26
by NF (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:11pm

Did ESPN mic up the Aloha Stadium crowd, it couldn't possibly have been that loud?

Or is that video just really bad?

27
by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:14pm

re: 19

First of all, you beat me to it. I was going to correct myself. I overlooked Nitschke in 1964 last night.
Anyway, there are plenty of other examples of players playing/being named to Pro Bowls when they didn't deserve it.
As for my example, how could anyone who watched football this year come to the conclusion Young was a top QB in the AFC?
By the way, why was he an alternate? They were several AFC QBs who had better seasons and they were apparently passed up.

Excuse me if I don't get excited over this bogus game.

28
by Gus (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:26pm

The Pro Bowl seems like it's always been stupid as hell, even adjusting for the intrinsic all-star game level of stupidity.

And Sean Taylor is a friggin' moron. Try using some of that ability during the regular season. I was really hoping that Moorman was going back out onto the field to punch him in the face.

29
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:32pm

I had it on in the background while I worked for the first 3 quarters, then I turned it off.

I like the Pro Bowl for one thing and that's the player interviews. They usually get a lot of player interviews in quick succession while the game is going on, and prior to the week when all the players are more relaxed and the season is over, they let their guard down and start actually talking.

30
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:34pm

27

He was ranked the 6th best QB in the AFC

Peyton Manning
Carson Palmer
Philip Rivers were the AFC QBs

Philip Rivers didn't go, he was hurt. So it went to Tom Brady

Tom Brady had a charity event scheduled and didn't go. It then went to Steve McNair.

Steve McNair was hurt or whatever and decided he didn't want to go.

It then went to Vince Young, who said yes.

So the only better AFC QB who was passed up was Chad Pennington.

31
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 3:49pm

If somebody is old enough to remember baseball before free agency, when guys overwhelmingly played their entire careers in one league, now THAT was an all-star game. Players approached it like a game in a pennant race, with the obvious exception of pitchers not going more than three innings. There was hell of a lot less fraternization with opposing players in general, and fraternization with guys in the other league was really unusual. Players like Bob Gibson (one of the more ornery sobs around) would go out of his way to maintain a hostile relationship with anybody not in a Cardinals uniform; he didn't want to have any reservations about drilling somebody in the ribs if he thought it should be done. That attitude, among all the players, really came to the forefront in the all-star game.

Of course, this all came at the price of the players getting royally screwed, and before the draft was instituted in the mid-60s, the Yankees' advantage was even more ridiculous than it is now, so overall it is better that those days are gone. Made for a better all-star game though.

32
by PackMan (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 4:32pm

I think the ProBowl should be played on the weekend before the superbowl. Sure the probowlers from the Superbowl teams wouldn't be there, but who does that really hurt? I'm sure they would all rather be in the Superbowl than the probowl. I think it would get more viewers that way.

33
by KenF (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 4:45pm

re:17
I think my problem with the Taylor hit on the punter is....HE IS GOING HARD AFTER A PUNTER! Would he have done this against a RB or WR or a QB i dont think so.

34
by cd6 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 4:45pm

17

"But let’s all call him a douche for actually playing hard. If an offensive player made a big, high effort play that rocked someone, everyone would be congratulating him for caring in a meaningless game."

I think, more realistically, players get rightly mocked for caring in a meaningless game. See: Peyton Manning, the last couple of years.

I suspect Sean Taylor is the kind of player who just can't "turn it off" when hes on the field. Thus, he looked like a clown for leveing a punter in a game when nobody else plays hard. Of course, on the positive side, the Redskins now have their first highlight of the season. And, it came in February!

35
by Mike J (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 5:03pm

I thought the Pro Bowl was worth it for 2 things:

1: NFL rerunning a silly Pro Bowl Alumni Flag Football game (Im not kidding..they do this every year, and it seems totally hilarious) where Team Marino loses to Team Young and someone says to the camera "see, he still cant win".

2: Marshall Faulk to Sean Payton: "Coach, we saw Bill having Peyton run the option in AFC practice earlier.."

Payton: "You what?"

Faulk: "I'm not kidding."

Payton: "I bet Bill has a great second and ten play."

Faulk giggles audibly.

The giggle made it worth it.

36
by mactbone (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 5:36pm

I thought it was funny for all the illegal defense penalties called on the AFC.

Why do so many people care so much that this game exists? It's basically a paid vacation for all these guys - freaking Hawaii no less - and a chance for them to associate with other players, etc. The guys that don't want to go generally don't and if they don't care then why should we?

37
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 5:48pm

Brady was playing in the Pebble Beach Pro Am this weekend, he probably committed to that after he wasn't selected.

38
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 6:09pm

3 great Pro Bowl moments:
3. Deangelo Hall getting burned again and again and again.
2. Devin Hester's return. He faked out Troy Polamalu twice on that return.
1. Punter getting jacked up.

Have we ever determined what would happen if Robo-Punter ran a fake?

39
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 6:30pm

Does anyone know what kind of Nielsen ratings the Pro Bowl broadcast gets? Presumably enough people are interested that they still make enough money from the commercials to make it worthwhile for CBS.

40
by DGL (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 7:02pm

Because Robo-Punter always ensures that the opponents get the ball on their own one-yard-line, if he ran a fake, he would run to the opponents' one-yard-line, where he would fumble the ball and ensure through his mystical robo-abilities that it would bounce around until a member of the opposing team recovered it on their one yard line.

You can't question it. It just is.

41
by kleph (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 7:20pm

i've always found it interesting that that pro bowl selections are usually criticized roundly and the game itself is outright ridiculed. despite that having the appelation "pro bowler" is pretty much universally recognized as an indication of a players quality.

42
by Mike J (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 7:21pm

I kind of wonder if the Pro Bowl doesnt succeed largely due to the local reception, they really fill that place up for some reason.

Its kind of a curiousity really, its the only football game in America that gets played full speed and doesn't matter.

I was actually mroe worried injurywise after Chad Johnson tweaked his knee, but since I haven't herad anything more I guess he was okay.

43
by andrew (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 7:56pm

They should just have all the players play themeselves in a massively networked game of madden for the pro bowl...

44
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 8:35pm

What would everyone be saying if Moorman actually converted a first down on the fake punt? "Look how the NFC didn't even think about them running a fake, they weren't ready to play at all, they mailed the game in.... yadda-yadda-yadda".

It wasn't a DIRTY hit, Taylor didn't grab his facemask and yank him down, he didn't cleat the guy while his helmet was off. In fact that's PRECISELY WHY SEAN TAYLOR IS IN THE PRO BOWL.

The fans and players seemed to love what happened on the field... maybe they need a rule that says "No fake FGs or punts...".

Re: 33
Would he have done this against a RB or WR or a QB i dont think so.

The reason he is in the Pro-Bowl is because he routinely hits RBs, and WRs with the same ferociousness... QBs too but that normally will draw a BS flag.

I don't pay close attention to a ton of other's safties, but Sean Taylor strikes me as someone who hits in the old-style. When he fills a whole his whole body is launched like a missile... it doesn't seem like he leads with his helmet, but his whole body is launched leading with his arms and shoulder. The rap against him as a dirty player is not justified at all, he's just a hit machine. That doesn't mean he's smart, but it does mean he plays hard...

Probably not too great in the open field, not sure why his coverage ability dropped off this year, but he fills holes like a running back on defense....

45
by David (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 8:42pm

39: I'm not sure, but it can't be a coincidence that the Pro Bowl is the only NFL game with an NCAA-style sponsorship deal attached to the title of the game itself (the "NFL Pro Bowl presented by State Farm," or something).

46
by cd6 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 9:46pm

Sean Taylor doesn't have a rep as a dirty player solely because he hits hard. He has a rep as a dirty player because he got ejected for spitting in a player's face in a playoff game, because he just laid out a punter in a pro bowl game nobody else cares about, because he draws numerous personal fouls (some based on reputation, but some earned), and because, fairly or not, he was arrested on gun charges for going after the guy who stole his ATV.

Basically, he's not a nice person.

47
by Scott P. (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 9:47pm

That was a totally clean hit by Taylor (he led with his shoulder to Moorman's chest) on a fake punt. It might have been the best jacked-up hit in years.

But let's not forget that Belichick called for a fake punt! My guess is that this was Belichick's 1st Pro Bowl as a Head Coach so, like always, he wanted to win badly. Fake punt, illegal defenses, etc. My only criticism is that he should have worn a Hawaiian-hoodie.

48
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 9:52pm

No props for Moorman for getting back up? Come on, I bet half the people posting are bigger than him. Jesus, that hit would've ended my life.

49
by SJM (not verified) :: Sun, 02/11/2007 - 10:12pm

Thank you to everyone who pointed out that A) Taylor hits anyone, not just punters, and B) It was a freaking fake punt! I'm sorry, you can't run a fake punt and then cry foul because someone hits you.

I would like to add that Taylor this year basically never deserved a personal foul, but had them called on him frequently on routine tackles. This killed his edge and he had a lousy year (bad coaching was also involved). I don't know what he was doing in the Pro Bowl to begin with, but I'm not arguing because he had a strong case each of the last two years and didn't get in.

50
by Mike J (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 12:04am

Actually one of the parts of the Pro Bowl broadcast I most enjoyed were the broadcasters openly speculating which team would cheat more and who'd get caught because everyone does every year.

They almost always run those gimmick plays in the PB too, because it gives the pro bowl punters and kickers their moments of glory. Hell, look, Belicheck punted once all day. He went for 4th and goal on the 2, and he went for 4th and ..ten..on..his..own..thirty. This was a screw around do silly things game - but thats kinda what was fun about it.

I certainly wouldn't watch it regularly, but it was interesting to see NFL players playing football for fun instead of with raging bite chunks out of raw meat or maybe your calf seriousness.

51
by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 12:07am

re: 30

Young was the 15th ranked passer in the AFC.

52
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 12:49am

51

Well, let's look at the AFC QBs.

Aaron Brooks/Andrew Walter
Charlie Frye/Derek Anderson
Leftwich/Garrard
Huard/Green
Cutler/Plummer
Roethlisberger
Losman
Pennington
Harrington/Lemon/Culpepper
David Carr

Since most of Pro Bowl voting is by the fans, and the voting shows rushing, passing, TDs, and INTs (but not fumbles), that narrows it down quite a bit.

Further cutting into it is that 6 teams there split heavy time at QB, which kept them from piling up on stats.

Also, I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the Titans completely 180ing under VY.

I personally would have given it to Pennington over VY, but you have to admit, those are pretty slim pickings regardless. Someone has to be that third slot.

53
by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 1:01am

Pennington deserved it over Young. I don't think there could be a question about that.

I'd also take Losman over Young.

54
by TheHamburglar (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 2:15am

Mentos, are you actually Sean Salisbury in disguise?

55
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 2:17am

I didn't watch the Pro Bowl, it's pretty silly. I did watch the Skills Competition on NFL Network. It took a bit of a downturn this year as well. No heats for the Fastest Man? Footspeed the largest factor in Best Hands? Somewhat disappointing. Although it was fun to see Ed Reed win a competition that seemed fairly focused at RBs or WRs.

56
by slim (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 2:27am

Sean Taylor lighting up Moorman was spectacular. One last shot to take us to the offseason. Nice.

57
by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 3:35am

Moorman bounced back like a true stud.

Okay, so how did Marvin Harrison avoid taking a snap? He's still got whatever nagging (wrist?) injury he's had the last part of the season, but if you take the check and fly to Hawaii, then you play the game. Or give up your slot and let a younger soak up some limelight.

A little diappointed.

And here's one vote for the Pro Bowl. I think it's kinda fun. I loved Marshall Faulk's rookie season when it came down to a "which team will have it last" not so much for the win, but for the RB rushing record. I forget whom he was competing with, but he racked up about 125 yards and a new record, then the NFC ran it down the AFC's throats and their guy topped that. With not much time left, Faulk got back on the field and, well, was Marshall Faulk. Got the yardage record and the MVP and had a ton of fun. (Plus I was on a business trip in Philly and snow-bound in my hotel room that year, so there was not much else to do.)

I DO like the idea of it being played in the tweener week, but the NFL would hate that--would take away from the media wallowing in the pre-SB glow.

58
by Ch V Kalyan (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 7:16am

a random idea here:

Every nfl fan seems to have no or little interest in probowl. hence why not rotate it across some locations that NFL wants to try and enter.

Like Mexico, London, Paris, Berlin, China, India, South Africa. These locations would love to host the NFL and i am sure the whole stadium is gonna be a sell-out.

To avoid people getting out, make it mandatory that there can be no injury drop-out. Probowl folks have to travel and if injuired don't play - their replacements do. That way, new geographies get to learn NFL and probably NFL can gauge the interest levels for regular season matches / exhibition matches

59
by Kami (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 9:58am

re 58:
Problem with that is the Pro Bowl is a reward for the league's outstanding players. They pretty much universally enjoy going to Hawaii--many of them would probably not enjoy being trotted around the globe.

Look, Sean Taylor is a douche. I'm all for levelling the punter on fake punts in games that count but as has been said, the Pro Bowl is the one time when specialty players should be able to run the gadget plays that their coaches goof around and call without threat of serious injury because while 10 of the opposing team's players are going to push you out of bounds or wrap up, 1 of them is an immature jerk who is going to completely decleat you. Just because it's within the rule boundaries doesn't mean it's good sportsmanship.
Anyway, if Sean Taylor is not a douche for the play, then I suggest we call out Belichick for calling the fake punt at all--particularly as the guy in danger is not his own player but from a division rival.Which is it; is Taylor or Belichick the douche?

60
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:22am

I didn't watch the game but my son showed me the Taylor hit on the internet. It was an entertaining play and there's really no legitmate complaint about it.

That said, there's really nothing particularly worth celebrating about it either. It's a meaningless game and the guy is a punter.

Not sure if Taylor has anyone he regards as a mentor among the older NFC players, but if he does I would think they would have a conversation along the lines of:

a) We would rather not have the AFC safeties trying to ring up Sanbtana Moss (I doubt Moss was even in the Pro Bowl, but you get the point) so to avoid any potential bad blood you might want to take it down a notch if you play in another Pro Bowl.

b) Celebrating a big hit like that only increases the chances that somebody on the other side might take it personally and look to retaliate.

On the Brees injury, as somebody noted earlier, that was very close to a serious knee injury. The play reminded me of the one where Carson Palmer got hurt last year. If the play had happened during the regular season (with Brees attention completely focussed downfield), I think the result might have been the same as for Palmer.

61
by Mike J (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:38am

I hate to say this, but..

If VY was a legitimate rookie of the year, he was a legitimate sub for the Pro Bowl.

Frankly, I'd have taken someone else for both, but he's not really horrible - as long as he's in the shotgun, he's a pretty effective player.

62
by andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 10:49am

Robo-punter does not attend the Pro Bowl. He does however boot the ceremonial first punt, he just does it from San Diego. And he still nails the one yard line in the Aloha Bowl.

63
by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 12:22pm

Someone mentioned Bob Gibson so I thought I'd throw in an anecdote here from a recent Joe Posnanski column in the KC Star:

John Mayberry road story:

Bob Gibson was one intimidating pitcher. You probably know the story already about how in Gibson’s last game, in 1975, he gave up a grand slam to Kansas City’s own Pete LaCock. And that was the last pitch he threw in the major leagues. You know that ate at him. Much later, Gibson faced LaCock in an old-timer’s game. He plunked LaCock in the back.

“I’ve been waiting years to do that,� Gibson shouted.

I don't think Bob Gibson ever played in a game that was meaningless to him.

I'm not a Sean Taylor fan, but if he plays the whole game and every game (pre-season, playoff, end-of-season-out-of-playoffs) like the hit on the punter then I say more power to him as a competitor - and everyone who plays against him knows what to expect at all times. If he just plays hard when he has a chance to flatten a smaller guy expecting an exhibition level of effort, then he's a punk and a bully.

64
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 12:55pm

52:

Why is there a third QB slot, anyway?

65
by Mikey (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 1:03pm

39 -

The overnight rating for the Pro Bowl is a 5.1. The final rating will be closer to a 4.0. That's comparable to a particularly good MLB game of the week, or to the final round of a good non-major golf event.

66
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 6:06pm

Anyone ever heard of Ray Fosse? Crushing someone in an All-Star game is stupid and pointless.

But part of me wonders if this wasn't just another mastermind scheme from Belichick -- send a Pro-Bowler from a division rival out to get slaughtered. No, surely that's not it.

67
by JONATHAN (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 8:02pm

I AM JUST GLAD BREES IS GOING TO BE READY TO GO WHEN CAMP STARTS. THE PRO BOWL IS JUST A REALLY BAD IDEA.

68
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 8:42pm

My favorite drill the hitter story involves the Cardinals, but the pitcher was Sandy Koufax, of all people. The Cards are playing the Dodgers, and in the first game of the series, Lou Brock bunts for a base hit twice, against Claude Osteen. Koufax is pitching the next day, but Don Drysdale is just livid that Brock was able to pull that off, so he works on Koufax at dinner that night to exact a price for Brock's behavior. Brock is leading off the game the next day, and since Koufax doesn't have the reputation as somebody who hits guys, Brock is feeling pretty confident, especially since the third baseman isn't playing all that close.

Anyways, Brock squares around to bunt again, just as Koufax delivers pure heat between Brock's third and fourth rib. As Lou lays in the dirt in considerable pain, Drysdale steps up onto the top step of the dugout, and screams, "Bunt that, Motherf*****!!"

I don't think we'll be seeing a scene like that again anytime soon.

69
by KenF (not verified) :: Mon, 02/12/2007 - 11:54pm

I am surprised some people missed the intent of my earlier point of the Taylor hit on the punter. This was an all out hit, again on a punter......would he have made such an all out hit against a receiver going over the middle in the pro bowl......would he have made an all out hit against a scrambling qb in the pro bowl......would he have made an all out hit against a rb in the open field in the pro bowl......the answer is of course not. Yes the hit was legal and clean, but even Pro Football Talk had a piece saying that NFL people think the hit broke the unwritten rule in this game to tackle but not hit

70
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 02/13/2007 - 2:02pm

See, that's the thing I hate about the Pro Bowl. It's a tackle football game where people are "supposed" to play at less than full speed. I'd rather see 7-on-7 flag football or stuff like that. (At least with the NHL, you see great passing and shooting, but of course it sucks to be the goalies. The only place all-star games really work is in the world of video games, where you can play all-out in an exhibition game.)

Plus people can't be trusted to vote for anything. This year's NHL voting was proof of that. I believe I could finish third in NFC WR balloting if I tried hard enough.

"Who's this zlionsfan guy?" "I don't know, man, but this is cool! Let's vote him in!"

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by SJM (not verified) :: Wed, 02/14/2007 - 1:46am

Re: 69

We didn't miss your point. We just think your point is wrong.

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by Jared Schreckengast (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 3:02am

The Pro Bowl needs to be played before the Super Bowl to determine home field advantage. The MLB All-Star Game determines home field advantage in the World Series, after all.