Hearty congratulations to Jason Babin and Marc Mariani for being voted to the 2011 Pro Bowl. For Babin it's a long-awaited prize for an NFL career that had been a disappointment by many standards; it's also a testament to how certain players are at the mercy of the systems they play in. Babin was drafted in the first round by the Texans, but was immediately converted to LB, then bounced around to teams where his skills weren't fully exploited. With the Titans he's been able to do what he does best: relentlessly pursue the passer. For Mariani it's a fitting reward for a rookie season no one saw coming on draft day, and a sign that the Titans may finally have a difference-making return specialist for the long haul. No matter how good Mariani turns out to be as a WR, he should have a long-term home in Nashville thanks to his special teams skills.
Paul K has a link to some great video at Titansonline.com where you can watch Jeff Fisher deliver the Pro Bowl news to Marc Mariani. It's great to watch because you can hear how weirded out Mariani is when Fisher calls him before he gets the news. There's also another mea culpa from Paul K about the flack he gave the Titans for the pick right after the draft.
Rob Bironas, Michael Griffin and Chris Johnson were all chosen as first alternates for the Pro Bowl. I have to say that Griffin's selection is a bit of a stretch at this point, but he got a huge boost thanks to a stellar first half of the year. It's really been the last 6 weeks or so that have nocked him out of that level for this year.
What better way to end this terrible season than playing spoiler to the Colts' playoff chances?
Shutdown Corner breaksdown who did and who should have won the Pro Bowl voting.
Michael Silver says the Panthers don't deserve Andrew Luck.
I heard a stand-up comedian (opening for Lewis Black) at Zanies here in Nashville, back around 2003, make the same joke Mike pound makes below, and the reaction was complete silence. I mean even the waitresses stopped and just stared at the guy. I'm sure whatever school teacher taught him about Greek mythology is very proud:
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