Pro Bowl afterthoughts

OK, I lied. I know I said how much I hate dislike the Pro Bowl, but I ended up watching most of it. But only because I was bored, I swear!

The thing that bugs me about this game is that you have all these great NFL players banging heads in a game that means nothing. I know it comes after the season finale, but most of these players are too valuable to risk losing to injury in a meaningless game.

I personally know that many New Orleans Saints’ fans were relieved this year when no Saints were selected to the Pro Bowl (even though Marques Colston got robbed). That is because we watched in horror last year when Drew Brees went down awkwardly by way of an unnecessarily vicious hit. Luckily, Brees’ injury was to his non-throwing arm and not very serious, but the risks far outweigh the gains in such a game.

For the life of me, I will never understand why impeding free agents — like Marion Barber, Asante Samuel and Marcus Trufant — even bother to play in the game. These guys are set to cash in on multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts in a month when free agency begins. But a serious or even semi-serious injury could compromise the big pay day and/or cripple the teams paying for these players’ services.

Alas, the game was played and some things did happen in it. Overall, it was a healthy Pro Bowl with lots of scoring and excitement. Hit the jump for some things I thought about while watching the game: Continue reading

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Michael Vick: Guilty until proven innocent

In the court of public opinion, Michael Vick is as good as done in the National Football League.

Petitions abound calling for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Vick from the league for eternity. Websites and message boards light up with negative commentary on the Atlanta Falcons’ signal-caller. PETA is demonstrating outside the NFL offices in New York and threatening to protest outside Falcons training camp.

This is completely ridiculous.

Vick has not been convicted in the court of law, but activists are advocating suspending the guy from the NFL for life. Not even Pacman Jones deserves that kind of action … at least not yet.

Vick is being blasted from all sides, and it may turn out to be rightfully so in the end, but until the legal process is complete and he is convicted of something he should not have to endure such persecution. And he certainly should not be suspended from the NFL for life unless he is proven guilty in the court of law.

I know the things he is accused of doing are terrible and should be admonished in society, but how in the world are they going to find a non-biased jury in this case? It seems everyone has an opinion about Vick and his allegations these days, and most of the opinions are negative (rightfully so).

But if the public had its way, Vick would not even stand trial. PETA would gladly lock him up and throw away the key, regardless of his innocence or guilt.

Let the courts decide Vick’s future in the NFL, not some silly vendetta-driven petition.

Making news

Here is a look at what is making news today in the fantasy football world:

Response to SportProjections.com

Are fantasy sports ruining our past times?

That is the question Lonnie at SportProjections.com recently asked, claiming that fantasy sports are eroding fan loyalty.

This sounds like an argument straight out of Michael Wilbon’s mouth. Wilbon is an avid opponent of fantasy sports, particularly because it can cause a fan to cheer for a rival’s players (think Red Sox fans cheering for Alex Rodridguez).

I do not dispute that fantasy sports have changed the way fans watch games. Player updates have surpassed team performance, as long as it is not your team.

I still believe that team loyalty is alive and well. I root for my fantasy players to do well. And it is true, I do not care if their teams wins or not. Unless the players are on my teams …

If I own Reggie Bush and he scores three touchdowns and gains 100+ yards on the ground, it sure does look good for my fantasy team.

If the New Orleans Saints lose the game, it will not matter to me how well Bush played. The loss still hurts as much as it did before I started playing fantasy football.

Maybe I am a dying breed.