Feel the Pro Bowl excitement!!
This year, to try to get anyone to watch the game, the NFL has moved it to the dead week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. So knock yourself out watching it, people.
The game has almost always been pointless -- football is a sport based on incredible violence, and to play it well you have to risk career-ending injuries. No one wants to get a career-ending injury in some All-Star game, so the effects are usually comical.
Still, they play it, and if they play it they must pick an MVP of the game.
Among the greats who have earned this venerated honor:
5. Eddie Murray The legend of Eddie Murray's 1981 Pro Bowl performance lives on, at least in the Eddie Murray household. The Detroit kicker nailed four field goals in what must have been a thrilling 21-7 win for the NFC.
Four field goals!! What you wouldn't give to have been there!
Sadly, Murray missed a last-minute 37-yard attempt that would have set a Pro Bowl record.
4. Marc Bulger St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was named the MVP in the 2004 Pro Bowl, presumably for making it through the game uninjured.
Since the final was 55-52, we're sure the defensive players were giving it their best.
3. Rich Gannon Rich Gannon, near the end of his career, turned into a perfectly fine NFL quarterback, but there's no one clamoring for him to get in the Hall of Fame. Yet he remains the only NFL player to ever be named Pro Bowl MVP two years in a row, something your Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings can only dream of. If they ever bothered to play in the Pro Bowl.
2. Dale Meinert Back before the AFL and NFL merged, the senior league would have an East-West Pro Bowl. Not only that, they awarded MVPs for both backs and lineman. In 1966 the lineman honor went to Dale Meinert, who, according to the above card, had early in his career "helped coach Frank 'Pop' Ivy win a Canadian title."
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Matt Schaub Oh sure, Texans fans, this pick wouldn't raise eyebrows now. But you've already forgotten the dark, bitter, hate-filled years before 2011, when the Texans constantly performed below expectations. The 2009 season was another example -- they finally eked their way to a winning record, but didn't make the playoffs.
As fans grumbled and the team seemed like it would never get over the hump, the selection of Matt Schaub as Pro Bowl MVP was greeted with venomous derision in Houston.