You have to give fans of the Washington Redskins credit. Thanks to them, they’re making a mockery out of the fan voting portion of the Pro Bowl.
In the most recent update of fan voting provided by the NFL, it would appear the NFC doesn’t need to send a bunch of players to the Hawaii after the season. They can just send the Redskins.
Washington QB Jason Campbell isn’t having a great year statistically, but he ranks third in the fan voting behind only Drew Brees and Eli Manning. But after that, it gets pretty sickening. Clinton Portis has more than 150,000-vote lead over Adrian Peterson at running back, fullback Mike Sellers has more votes than the next four fullbacks combined, Santana Moss has more votes than Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin, Chris Cooley leads among tight ends, Casey Rabach leads among centers, guards Pete Kendall and Randy Thomas are 1-2 among guards and Chris Samuels leads among tackles. Somehow pedestrian right tackle Stephon Heyer is only fifth in the voting.
On the defensive side, DE Andre Carter is second in the voting, starting DTs Cornelius Griffin and Kedric Golston are 1-2 in the voting, the Redskins have three outside linebackers in the top four (Jason Taylor, Marcus Washington and Rocky McIntosh), despite Taylor being injured and not playing outside LB. Need a middle linebacker? London Fletcher leads the race. How about cornerback? Both Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers are the frontrunners. Strong safety Chris Horton has three times as many votes as the next closest player and free safety LaRon Landry has more than twice as many votes as the next-highest vote total.
It doesn’t stop there. Shaun Suisham is dominating among the kickers, as are punter Ryan Plackemeier, return man Rock Cartwright (ahead of Devin Hester and Reggie Bush) and special teamer Khary Campbell, who has as many votes as the next three special teams players combined.
It’s one thing to root for your own players, but Redskins fans have made a mockery out of the process. Washington is a decent team, but, as it currently stands, Washington won’t even make the playoffs. Clearly they don’t have the talent to send that many players to the Pro Bowl. This is why some believe the fans should be kept out of the equation when it comes to selecting the Pro Bowl team. If the numbers can be manipulated by zealous Redskins fans, who cast 135,000 votes for Campbell as special teams player and nobody in the entire AFC has more than 48,000 votes in the same category, there is clearly a flaw in the process.
In non-Redskins Pro Bowl voting, Adrian Peterson is No. 2 among running backs with more than 300,000 votes. Matt Birk is fourth among centers, Steve Hutchinson is inexplicably fourth among guards behind the Redskins starters and Chris Snee of the Giants. Jared Allen is fifth in the voting for defensive ends, Kevin Williams is third among DTs, while Pat Williams is fourth. Darren Sharper is third in the voting at strong safety.
Bryant McKinnie, who had to sit out the first four games of the regular season because of charges stemming from a personal conduct violation during the offseason, has had a trial date set for March 16. The charges include a felony battery charge for allegedly using a metal pipe used to hold the velvet ropes outside a Miami nightclub.
Jared Allen met with the league-office honchos Tuesday. He was asked to explain what he was thinking when he hit Matt Schaub and Aaron Rodgers, which some have deemed cheap shots. Allen is expected back to practice today and VU will attempt to get comments from him concerning what transpired.
Former Buccaneers safety John Lynch, who announced his retirement last week, will be the color analyst on the Vikings-Jaguars game Sunday on FOX.
Although their parting was acrimonious, the Packers are clearly cheering for Brett Favre. When Favre was traded to the Jets, it came with a conditional fourth-round draft pick. That has already become a third-round pick because Favre has already started more than half the games this season. If the Jets make the playoffs, it will climb to a second-round pick. At 7-3 sitting alone atop the AFC East, that looks like a pretty fair probability. If the Jets make the Super Bowl, it will climb to a No. 1 pick, having front office members of the Packers chanting “J-E-T-S” on a regular basis.