It could have used a little more cowbell - Scott Cunningham
Some thoughts on what we saw in this year's pro bowl, or at least the parts I didn't sleep through.
After last year's pillow fight Roger Goodell came out and said the play of the game needed to improve or he was going to get rid of the Pro Bowl. Oh the horror! What would I ever do with myself if I didn't have the equivalent of a preseason game, only more meaningless, to watch the Sunday before the Super Bowl?
Losing the game would definitely upset the Patriots who would be so upset thVisual Viewey wouldn't even notice the game was no longer being played since they never bother to show up for it anyways. If you want proof for how meaningless this game is just look to AFC head coach John Fox going for it on 4th-and-goal near the start of the game. This is a coach who's so conservative he's probably considered punting in the red zone in the past, but he's going for it instead of getting those all important first points and an early 3-0 lead. Oddly they scored the TD and I couldn't help but think there had to be some sort of life lesson somewhere in that for Fox.
Well the game was played once again in the dump known as Aloha Stadium and the players definitely played harder but I'm not sure I would call it better, at least not on the AFC side. It was probably appropriate that Train played two songs in a pregame performance because the AFC was a bit of a train wreck. Not that we should be surprised given there were 6 Chiefs players on the AFC team.
By the way, if that's what a Train concert looks like I can consider myself lucky that I've never been to one. Who were all those fans they let onto the field? Did they clear out every Denny's and Waffle House on the island and promise them a free Moons Over My Hammy if they would jump up and down while Train played?
After the ukulele fueled pregame show (Get it? It's Hawaii and everybody knows Hawaiians love ukuleles. There's some sort of unwritten rule that says whenever doing any Hawaiian themed show there must be ukuleles, hula dancers, and some sort of gray paste that may or may not be edible. ) Adrian Peterson fumbled on the first play of the game and Eli Manning had a pass intercepted and returned 42-yards for a TD that helped the AFC to an early 14-10 lead.
Not wanting to be outdone the AFC turned the ball over 5 times in the game thanks in large part to having far inferior QBs playing compared to those playing for the NFC. Matt Schuab? Really, that's the best you can dig up in the AFC? At least it wasn't as bad as when David Garrard played in the pro bowl as the 20th alternate a year before he was cut by the Jaguars. Yes, I just wrote "pro bowl" and "cut by the Jaguars" in the same sentence.
Doug Flutie prowled the NFC sideline looking for any short QB he could find to interview starting with Russell Wilson and then Drew Brees before looking for short wide receivers he could talk to next. The answer is Victor Cruz if you were wondering. He then ended things by pulling out a Randy Newman greatest hits CD which he broke into several pieces and jumped up and down on while screaming, "Short people have no reason to live?! Well what do you think of that Randy?! Are you embarrassed that your name in synonymous with ‘Horny'?!"
When the AFC wasn't turning the ball over they were trotting out punter Dustin Colquitt who has plenty of experience with inept offensive play thanks to playing in Kansas City, and the AFC finished the first half with 58 yards of total offense and only 1 scoring drive that happened to start at the NFC 7-yard line. While the NFC scored 3 TDs and a FG on 4 of their last 5 possessions while totaling over 350 yards of offense in just the first half. The AFC finally did start scoring at the end of the game but most people had turned it off by then since they found looking at the Steelers throwback jerseys was more enjoyable than watching any more of this game.
The Vikings Kyle Rudolph was named the game's MVP thanks to 5 receptions for 122 yards and a TD while Cruz set a pro bowl record for receptions with 10. There was also an Ed "check out my guns" Hochuli sighting when he said after throwing the first penalty flag of the game, "Yes there are penalties in the pro bowl." He then later said, "Man this game is a joke," not realizing in an effort to make the game more interesting there were microphones placed all over the place including the ball, the chains, every single player and coach, and most the fans in attendance just in the off chance they were talking about something even remotely interesting that Cris Collinsworth could use instead of repeatedly telling everyone how much harder the players were trying this year.
I would also just like to say Al Michaels needs to look up the definition of "ironic". It's not ironic that the 49ers and Ravens are playing in the Super Bowl this year considering how close they got to going last year. It was ironic when George Bush said he couldn't believe the enormity of the situation after he got elected when "enormity" means "extreme evil" not "enormousness". I hate you Alanis Morissette.
Perhaps the only real memorable moment of the game came when Jeff Saturday switched sides for one play so he could snap the ball one last time to Peyton Manning. "It's something that I'll always remember," he said, "that he'll always remember to kind of get that one, final snap together after the thousands that we've taken together." Having a guy put his hands between your legs so you can hand him a ball is something you'll always remember? To each his own I guess.