Voting for the 2024 Pro Bowl has come and gone over the past few weeks. The usual suspects were voted to represent the Chiefs for the AFC: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones all three made the roster, while Creed Humphrey and Joe Thuney also solidified their spots. Humphrey will be going to his 2nd straight Pro Bowl, while the other 4 have gone to a host of Pro Bowl Games throughout their illustrious careers.
What is alarming though, and what most people are talking about, are those who were left off the AFC Pro Bowl team from the Chiefs. Cornerback L'Jarius Sneed, guard Trey Smith, running back Isiah Pacheco, and linebackers Willie Gay and Nick Bolton were all named as alternates for the Pro Bowl, however for at least one of those guys it plain and simply does not add up. L'Jarius Sneed has had his best season to date, and while already being one of the most underrated corners in the league, has made a great case for him to be shed in the limelight among the NFL's best and brightest defensive backs. Sneed has not allowed a single touchdown this season and has only allowed 470 yards this season through 18 games. He has also had 14 deflections, 2 interceptions, a 16.3% target rate, and a 64.3 QBR allowed (per Pro Football Focus). Arguably the best corner in the AFC and one of the best in the entire league has been snubbed from a Pro Bowl spot for Jalen Ramsey, who has had one of his worst seasons to date mind you, Sauce Gardner, Marlon Humphrey, and Xavien Howard. All of which, by the way, rank lower in PFF rankings than L'Jarius Sneed. It wasn't just Sneed that was left off the roster too, Trent McDuffie, who has taken a huge step up from last year, was also left off the list, not even being considered for an alternate spot, which has caused much chagrin among Chiefs faithful.
Can we please just face facts here? Nobody watches the Pro Bowl because A) It's not even a game anymore, it's flag football and some children's game events (not even comparable to the Pro Bowl Skills Competitions of old), and B) It's a popularity contest. L'Jarius Sneed was announced to the All-Pro team just yesterday, yet is an alternate for the Pro Bowl? In what world does that make any sense, especially since Jalen Ramsey has played for just half the season and hasn't even been good for that half? The only explanation is it is based on vanity and popularity, which is not a good look for the NFL. Nobody wants to just watch rich people have fun and goof around (Yes I know the Golden Globes were this week thank you for reminding me. It's an award show it's different.)
When people tune into an All-Star game like the Pro Bowl, they want to watch the best of the best at their game compete against one another, and while I understand there are player safety stipulations, the Pro Bowl is on its way out due to how watered down and dull it's become. Other leagues' All-Star weekends are actually fun to watch, skill games and all. The Dunk Contest, Home Run Derby, Coolest Shot Competition, and other games blow the NFL dodgeball game and kicking contest out of the water. Not to mention most leagues (minus the NBA who selects mainly on popularity as well) select on merit and ability. The Pro Bowl simply doesn't compare, and it's sad because it shows how much the NFL cares about the quality of their product and their fan service. You're the biggest sports league in America for a reason, but that reason is fading away quickly to the point where the NFL may lose its vice grip on American sports culture...Don't even get me started on the streaming service-exclusive games.
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