Michael Vick made the Pro Bowl this year?

Link, he’s got a freakin’ 71.8 QB rating, ranking him 13th out of 16 QBs in the NFC, his team has lost four of its last six games and is on the verge of being eliminated from the post-season, he’s thrown 13 TDs to 12 INTs. How did he get selected?

Same way the Ravens tackle Jonathan Ogden got in – reputation alone.

Vick is One Of Those Guys; he’s been anointed by many as a Great Athlete. We had a thread on the SDMB in which someone suggested Vick as an outside candidate for the title of the greatest athlete who ever lived. Seriously.

There’s always been guys like this, but I can’t think of anyone who was as extreme a case as Vick.

It helped that there were some injuries to other star QBs this year (McNabb and Culpepper). But yeah - Vick has a reputation, makes some spectacular plays, ESPN loves him to death, and he sells jerseys. People here say he wins games, although this season he’s not doing particularly well at that. Kyle Orton, Chris Simms and Brad Johnson sure weren’t going to make it, so Vick got a freebie.

Sportswriters, like the rest of us, are a bit lazy sometimes. And even the ones who TRY to stay informed can only watch so many football games in a given season.

So, even if say, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News is a smart, honest, harworking reporter who’s really TRYING to cast an informed vote, the fact remains, he only got to see maybe 2 Falcons games this year. He may have seen the Rams play twice this year. He sees the Cowboys every week, but he may well see fewer overall games each year than an average fan.

Now, at SOME positions, he can check the stats and try to guess who the best player is (that’s hard to do in itself- a few weeks ago Drew Bledsoe of the Cowboys was the #1 ranked NFC quarterback, and he wasn’t good at ALL, as every Cowboy fan can attest). But how does he really know if Orlando Pace is having a good season at tackle? Answer: he DOESN’T know. If he votes for Pace as an All-Pro, it’s because, well, Pace is ALWAYS an All-Pro. So he must still be one, right? (Gold Glove awards in baseball work the same way. I mean no disrespect to Jim Kaat, but the only reason he won so many Gold Gloves is that nobody really knew of an outstanding defensive pitcher… so everybody just kept voting for the same guy who won LAST year).

Under the circumstances, then, it’s not surprising a sportswriter who hasn’t seen too many NFC games would be inclined to vote for players he knows have been good/great in the past, or players he’s heard second-hand are very good.

Besides, Cowlishaw may reason, “I HAVE to pick 3 All-AFC quarterbacks. Who’s REALLY deserving? Eli Manning? Nah. Kurt Warner or Kyle Orton? Please! McNabb had an injury-filled, off-year. Favre is over the hill. Culpepper stunk out the joint early on. Who does that leave- Joey Harrington, Aaron Brooks, Ken Dorsey, Chris Simms? Brad Johnson? Look, Michael Vick may be overrated, he may be having a subpar season, but I’m not sure there are 13 better quarterbacks in the NFC.”

And really, ARE there 13 better NFC quarterbacks this season? In the AFC, I could make Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer and Tom Brady my three Pro Bowl quarterbacks without a problem. All are worthy. But frankly, I don’t see any NFC quarterbacks this season notably better than AFC also-rans like Jake Plummer, Drew Brees and Trent Green.

I mark 2 better than Vick this year and not named:

Bulger, but it depends on how much you penalize for being hurt.
Brunell, but he’s been as inconsistient as Vick

If the NFL was sane and waited until the season ended before deciding this, maybe Brad Johnson.

But you’re right, none of them are *that much * better. What a crappy year for NFC QBs.

It’s bogus Vick fetishism, but you’ve also got to try and come up with 3 better guys who deserved it. Tough to do in the NFC.

Lets see, you’ve got Matt Hasselbeck and…um, uh…Bledsoe? Eli? Brad Johnson? Brett Favre?

Delhomme isn’t even having a great year and he’s a no brainer for the NFC.

Lets break down the NFC:

NFC North
Bears: Orton, Grossman…don’t make me laugh
Packers: Favre…he’s comically bad, I’ve come to expect key INTs.
Vikings: Culpepper, Johnson…Daunte caused mass FFL hysteria, Johnson was OK
Lions: Garcia, Harrington…makes the Bears QBs look like Hall of Famers.

NFC East
Eagles: McNabb, McMahon…McNabb was so-so when healthy, but that didn’t last long.
Cowboys: Bledsoe…was a candidate before folding in some big games.
Giants: Eli…he’s been good, for a 2nd year QB.
Redskins: Brunell…see Bledsoe above.

NFC South
Bucs: Simms, Greise…see Eli above.
Panthers: Delhomme…he’s in.
Saints: Brooks…don’t make me laugh.
Falcons: Vick…um, ok.

NFC West
49ers: A. Smith, Rattay, Dorsey…wow, ugly.
Seattle: Hasselbeck…yup.
Cardinals: Warner, McCown…well, Denny couldn’t decide on one, that tells you something.
Rams: Martin, Bulger, Fitzpatrick…call the infirmary
So, looking that over we really have only a few guys who can even be called not awful or hurt. The list is a short one: Hasselbeck, Delhomme, Vick, Bledsoe, Brunell, Simms, Eli and Brad Johnson.

Of those guys after the first 3, none stand out. Vick is the only one who brings something to the table via the run and certainly does sell jerseys. He doesn’t deserve the spot, but I can’t get all bent out of shape over his pick sine none of those other guys deserve the spot either.

In addition to the above, some might tune in to see him. Who’s gonna tune in to see Mark Brunnel or Drew Bledsoe?? (Let’s not get into the whole who’s gonna tune in to watch this boring gaem in the first place–not I)

It goes in cycles. 6-8 years from now it’ll be reversed. The NFC will have the good ones.

So any player on a less than great team is automatically excluded from Pro Bowl consideration? And for those of you comparing against other QBs, did you also check their records?

The Falcons are a long term dysfunctional team. Vick has changed things. This could be the first time ever that the Falcons finish with back-to-back winning seasons.

Give it a rest folks.

I don’t think you can judge a QB by a passer rating alone. A lot of QB’s can have average passer ratings and still be considered great quarterbacks. Brett Favre has a career QB rating of 86.4. He’s never had a season where his QB rating went over 100 and he’s had several in the 70’s and 80’s. Rushing ability has to count for something and intangibles have to count for something. Vick may not be Marino in the pocket, but he is an offensive threat nonetheless. He also has the kind of charisma that can lift a team.

In a field of mediocre choices, I don’t have a problem selecting Vick, who is at least exciting o watch.

To me the only other possible choice besides Vick is Brunnell and between the two of them, I would actually take Vick…albiet without enthusiasm.

Yeah, it’s just a part of the fact that there are seven or eight AFC QBs, easily, better than the second best NFC QB, this year. Like Omni said, it’s hard to get too angry when there aren’t really any better choices being cheated out.

Well, Mark Brunnell has much better numbers, 20 TDs v. 8 INTs, 600+ more yards passing and his team has won 3 games in a row, including a pasting of the Cowboys recently. I’d say he’s a better pick than Vick, by a fair margin.

I am a HUGE homer for the skins.

I would still note that Brunell is 1st alternate for the NFC. So I think the discussion here REALLY is Vick vs. Brunell and maybe Bledsoe & Bulger in the distance (by QB ratings alone Bulger would be in and so would Brunnell and Delhomme and Brady would be out – so we all agree we can’t base it only on that - right?).

Tony K talked about this quite a bit on his radio show, noting Brunell is playing for the playoffs and the Falcons, well… and the pro-Vick argument it came down to this : You don’t build the defensive game plan to stop Brunell - [you stop Portis then Moss first]. You DO build the D-game plan on stopping Michael Vick first.

Now you might say the same thing about Delhomme and Hassleback – but both of them have much better numbers … again really numbers, records and games have made it a conversation about Brunell and Vick – one makes it and one is the alternate and I don’t think it was totally unjust - I would have flipped them tho (as I am a homer)