Tim Jennings recently signed a long-term contract extension, and now he gets to celebrate with a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Jennings was added to the roster in place of Richard Sherman, who will obviously be too busy shouting at people in preparation for the Super Bowl. (Joke.) Joining Jennings will be Kyle Long, who was added in place of injured 49er lineman Mike Iupati.
Combined with the previously announced honors for Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears now have five players on the Pro Bowl roster, making next Sunday’s game a bit more interesting. Although, really, it’s still not that interesting. It’s my least favorite all-star game. My rankings would be:
(I’m not a big NHL fan, as I never had a team to cheer for. Well, unless the Fort Wayne Komets count.)
Baseball used to be my favorite, but the tie-game in 2002 turned me off to such a degree that it hasn’t reclaimed the top spot, no matter how many gimmicks Bud Selig throws at me. (Although the 15-inning 2008 contest went a long way toward earning my forgiveness.) As for the NBA game, it’s sort of entertaining for three quarters to see NBA players try stupid things, but as the game winds down, they actually try to win, which is more than can be said about the NFL game. And the sport they’re playing resembles a regular season game.
No one wants to tackle in the Pro Bowl, which is completely understandable. Why risk that sort of thing? It’s a glorified seven on seven contest, or flag football. From a fan’s perspective, I don’t see a big reason for the game to exist; it obviously earns the NFL money, and it’s nice for the players, I’m sure. But it’s not appointment television for me, even with a format change that adds a fantasy draft element to this year’s proceedings.
But, regardless, it’s cool to see Jennings and Long make the trip, even as alternates. They’re both deserving, and they’re both core pieces for the Bears moving forward. (As are Forte, Marshall, and Jeffery.)
Let’s hope no one gets hurt.