The Kansas City Chiefs have the most players of any team in the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl with 10. One of those players, MVP candidate running back Jamaal Charles, is a team co-captain for Team Deion Sanders. Still, the Chiefs all-stars ended up split evenly on both teams with five going to Team Rice and five going to Team Sanders.
If you didn’t watch the Pro Bowl “fantasy style” draft last night on NFL Network, I’d say you missed out on some good television and getting to know some of your favorite players from the Chiefs. Granted, the Pro Bowl has been a bit of a non-starter in recent years and the league has actually talked about getting rid of the annual all-star game all together due to lack of interest. This year might actually be the spark that it needs.
In years past, teams were made up of all-stars from each conference with the NFC stars facing against the AFC. This year, the twist is the teams are “unconferenced” and thus available to play for either team based on the draft that occured over the last two nights.
Charles was one of the first players off the board on the first night, becoming a co-captain for Team Sanders along with Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The second Chiefs selected was also during the first night as first-time Pro Bowler, defensive tackle Dontari Poe was also picked by Team Sanders. As night two unfolded, it was unclear who the next Chiefs off the board would be.
As part of the television “reality show” experience of the Pro Bowl draft, the NFL Network had a “confession camera” set up in the green room where players could plead their case to get picked by either one of the future hall of famers. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made good use of the feature and it seemed to work, so Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers apparently tried out his luck with the camera. It didn’t take long for a team to hear his words as Flowers became the first Chiefs player to head to Team Rice.
Shortly after that, Primetime took safety Eric Berry to his team.
The next Chiefs to utilize the “confession cam” was the “self-proclaimed” best linebacking corps in the NFL. Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson looked like three little kids at Chuck E. Cheese trying to squeeze their faces into the camera to get their picture taken (anyone who has kids and frequents that establishement will know what I’m talking about.) The plea worked, somewhat as Houston and Hali went back to back…but to different teams. The dynamic duo will be split up during the Pro Bowl.
As Houston went to Team Rice, the first question the NFL Network asked him was, “what about Jamaal Charles?”
Houston explained he wasn’t allowed to touch J.C. during practice wearing a Chiefs uniform but he wouldn’t let the elusive running back stop him from winning. When Hali emerged from the green room a bit later, he looked like he’d been sleeping.
A few rounds later Team Sanders was Chiefs left tackle and first-time Pro Bowler Branden Albert, likely at the urging of team mate Charles. It wasn’t long after that the final Chiefs linebacker attending the festivities in Honolulu was off the board as Team Rice selected Derrick Johnson, leaving two first-time Pro Bowlers on the board in punt returner Dexter McCluster and quarterback Alex Smith.
Dexter didn’t have to wait much longer at the man known as the “San Francisco Treat” drafted him to join his team mates on Team Rice.
Per the rules of the draft, the final two players of the draft were required to be quarterbacks. One team would select one of the players and the other team would then get that remaining quarterback. The final two QBs on the board once the dust settled were Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles and the Chiefs Alex Smith. With his final pick, “Neon” Deion Sanders picked Foles, thus making Smith “Mr. Irrelevant” for the first ever Pro Bowl draft.
I thought it was fitting the last guy picked for the Pro Bowl was the last guy selected. Smith didn’t seem too heart broken, though. I’m sure he’s not overly concerned where he was selected in a draft for a game that means nothing as sits on the beach, sips on a pineapple drink and thinks about next season.
Not sure where you stand on the whole Pro Bowl thing, but I think for the first time in a lot of years, I’m going to tune in on Sunday night, just to see what happens.