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The Pro Bowl Blows

I wish I could say that today's appointment of Kerry Collins as Brett Favre's replacement in the NFL Pro Bowl was the fatal blow to this game's credibility. But that credibility left long ago. So let's just call this a signal that the powers that be don't believe that Chad Pennington isn't even in the top five quarterbacks in his own conference.And that they're delusional.

The Pro Bowl's original AFC quarterback threesome were Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler, and Brett Favre, who must have been picked for nostalgia's sake because it surely wasn't for his league-leading interception totals. When Favre announced he couldn't go because of a shoulder injury, overgrown frat boy Philip Rivers got the nod as the first alternate, but Rivers too declined. So today, Collins was named to the team.

I've had my problems with Chad Pennington in the past, but you can't argue with the fact that he tied for second in MVP voting this year and has twice won Comeback Player of the Year. Pennington (19) had seven more touchdowns than Collins (12) this year, while both quarterbacks threw seven interceptions. Yes, Collins won more games, but the Titans were in the playoffs a year ago, and as we all know, Pennington led the Dolphins to the biggest single-season turnaround in league history. Also, Pennington has never been named to a Pro Bowl. Not to sound corny, but that's the kind of thing that could potentially mean a lot to a type of player like Pennington.

Really, the entire game is a sham. Football simply does not lend itself to an all-star exhibition like baseball or basketball. Sure it's an excuse for players (and media) to go to Hawaii for a few days in the middle of winter, but the best part of the whole weekend is the skills competition. So, not that it matters much, but Chad should be hanging at this year's luau.

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Michael J. Mooney

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