SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Hi folks, I’m writing about the Pro Bowl today! Wait , can I even say “Pro Bowl” without expressed written consent? To be safe, and to rip off Stephen Colbert – who is probably too busy between shows right now to notice – I’ll now refer to it as the Probe Owl.
I usually end up writing about the Super Duper Game but my fellow Monday man DJ is lined up next week for that… and just as well! He’s still young and starry-eyed and has something to say; I’m a jaded cynical old bastard and thus prone to crackpot conspiracy theories and shouting at chairs. Making the best of this situation, I tried to put together a typical Super Sunday feast. Unfortunately, the smoked brisket I had planned is too busy getting ready for next week; and then my award winning chili begged off of its invitation, citing various injuries it’d been hiding for months. In the end I had to fry up some bologna sandwiches.
I haven’t actually watched a Probe Owl since I was a kid, back when I still thought it and Professional Wrestling were real, and it seems that some things have changed. For the first time, this year’s Probe Owl was played in Arizona instead of Hawaii, which must feel like guessing right on the Showcase Showdown but winning the package with the trip to Branson instead of Europe. This is probably why so many of the top stars suddenly couldn’t make it, and the rosters got so thin that the third string weak safety is Richard Sherman Shepherd, pulled from the Puppy Bowl at the last minute and pressed into duty.
The teams aren’t divided by conference any longer, but picked fantasy-draft style by the NFL Network, and thus built around the most ratings inspired headlines. Each team is now named according to what’s trending highest at the moment. Unfortunately the system still needs some bugs ironed out, as the “Deflate Gaters” versus the “Crotch Grabbers” has already been taken by next week’s game. The “Wife Beaters” versus the “Child Beaters” is so three months ago, so they just left it to Michael Irvin and Chris Carter to name them, and rather than the “Mumble Corps” versus the “Caterpillar Brows,” they just named them after themselves.
Much has been made of the new field goal dimensions, with the All Probe kickers having to to hit a target not only much narrower than they’re used to, but sliding back and forth across the back line. At least that’s what Adam Vinatieri thought after missing three kicks. It was a tight contest that came down to the final play, when AJ Green broke free on a post but slipped in some of Richard Sherman Shepherd’s poo, and the ball dropped harmlessly to the turf.
The Probe Owl gets a lot of flack, but with these new wrinkles I think they may be on the right track… if only the winner somehow decided home field in the Superbowl (one word, not copyrighted)!
Come back tomorrow for a Superb Owl of Sports Wisdom, Grinding Ax Walter Hynes.