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Redskins Successfully Make Mockery of Pro Bowl

I'm not privy to the thinking behind the Redskins' elaborate campaign urging fans to Vote the Redskins Ticket. As I've repeatedly mentioned, the thing ranges from thousands of yard signs to extensive Web videos to pins and bumper stickers to radio ads to an enslaved blogger to thick media packets to, presumably, an illegal slush fund, hidden recording devices and some plumbers.

In my mind, I've imagined that some front-office types thought about the system and realized it was ripe for fan exploitation. Because, unlike an NBA All-Star ballot--where every player is a superstar--the NFL ballot has obscure nooks and crannies at little-known positions.

"If one team attempted to brainwash its fans into constantly voting for, say, Madison Hedgecock," these brave front-office execs said to one another, "the system could easily be gamed, and a band of no-gooders could probably elect most of the Detroit Lions' offensive line. Maybe if we make a mockery of the system by electing 438 Redskins starters this year, the NFL will introduce more objective criteria, such absurdities will be impossible in the future, and the meritocracy will be preserved."

Either than, or Mr. Snyder just decided that if Jerry Jones could have a bigger HD screen, he wanted more Pro Bowlers.

Well, (via The Redskins Blog) has some preliminary voting tallies, and the numbers look great if your idea of great is a preseason intrasquad Skins scrimmage. Let's take a look at some of the leading fan vote-getters in the NFC.

Running Back: Clinton Portis (with 51 percent more votes than second-place Adrian Peterson)

Wide Receiver: Santana Moss

Fullback: Mike Sellers (with 143 percent more votes than second-place Hedgecock)

Tight end: Chris Cooley (with 12 percent more votes than second-place Jason Witten)

Center: Casey Rabach

Guards: Pete Kendall and Randy Thomas (both with more than 25 percent more votes than anyone else)

Offensive Tackle: Chris Samuels (with 93 percent more votes than anyone else)

So yeah, while the local fanbase worries itself sick over the team's starting offensive line, the fan vote would indicate that four of the five starters are Pro Bowlers. In fact, eight of the NFC's 11 starters would come from this 6-4 squad. That makes sense. (And sure, fan voting is only one element of the very grave selection process.)

On defense, Washington has the top two tackles (both with at least 21 percent more votes than anyone else), the second-rated defensive end, three of the top four outside linebackers, the top inside linebacker, the top two cornerbacks (including No. 1 Shawn Springs, who has played in fewer than half of his team's games), the top free safety, and the top strong safety. That would be Chris Horton, who has an astounding 206 percent more votes than any other NFC strong safety.

So the defense one-ups the offense by landing nine of 11 would-be starters. So the NFC would have 17 Redskins starters. At least there's no defending Super Bowl champ with one loss in that conference, because then this would seem really, really stupid.

Oh, I forgot about special teams. Leading kicker? Duh. Shaun Suisham, with 139 percent more votes than anyone else. Leading kick returner? Duh. Rock Cartwright. Leading specialist? Duh. Khary Campbell. Leading punter? Duh, Ryan Plackemeier, of course. That would be the friendly chap who's played exactly four games for the NFL's worst punting team.

There's a zero percent chance that some front-office types aren't doing Champagne shots out of Hog Troughs today, but when the part-time kicker for the league's worst punting team leads the NFC Pro Bowl voting, well, democracy sheds a silent tear.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 18, 2008; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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It's all part of the elaborate campaign to keep Chris Samuels the most overrated player in professional sports.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 18, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Stein, don't be ridiculous. Every team has made a mockery of the pro-bowl ever since fans have been allowed to participate in the process. I mean really, Marion Barber made the pro-bowl last year while not eclipsing 1000 yards and not starting all year for his team.

The Pro-bowl has been a joke for some time now and it is a shame that clowns in the media, your colleagues, actually look at the number of pro bowls a players makes in considering whether or not that person should be inducted into the Pro football HOF.

Posted by: keino83 | November 18, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget about the NHL All-Star Game which will have an Eastern starting line up of all Montreal vs. a Western starting line up of mostly Dallas.

It's not like anyone really cares about this stuff.

Posted by: tgoren71 | November 18, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Montreal Canadians fans actually took it a step further, setting up a vote-making script that anyone with a computer can set up.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

LMAO, Washington DC, we don't get a vote in congress but we can kick some @$$ in probowl voting

Posted by: alex35332 | November 18, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The shame of this is that there are a large number of pro bowl caliber players on the team and their achievements will be marginalized by this stupidity.

No doubt Portis, Sellers, Moss, Cooley, Thomas, Samuels, Fletcher & Rogers are legit guys to get votes. They are either immediate past pro bowlers or are having seasons that make it fair to vote for them no matter who you root for.

There are a few guys, Griffin, Landry, Suisham, Campbell, McIntosh who are maybe under appreciated and should get some homer votes...

but the other ones are crazy and the votes for Carter, Golston, Springs, Taylor Plackesausage, & Horton (great for a rookie 7th rounder, but no pro bowl yet) actually discredit the acomplishments of thier teammates.

Talk about a brilliant marketing idea gone wrong.

Posted by: JLR75 | November 18, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant Marketing idea gone wrong or wrong marketing idea gone brilliant?

Posted by: alex35332 | November 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Any word on non-starters? Like is JC the no 2-3 QB?

Posted by: alex35332 | November 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not our guys are Pro-Bowler, they're still Redskins, so I'm gonna vote 'em in and continue to do so.

but wow @ the thought of 4 of our O linemen being Pro Bowlers. Absurd!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 18, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Democracy sheds a silent tear? Tisk Tisk!! As the saying goes, "He who hesitates masterb..." no that's not it. Ah yes "he who participates obliterates." There you go.

Posted by: Gweez | November 18, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

So you think that the NFL will fine the Skins for this?

Posted by: alex35332 | November 18, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Fine the Skins for what Alex? Getting more hits on their website....I think not. Bow down to the almighty dollar Alex. You aren't thinking like a capitalist there Vladimir ;)

Posted by: Gweez | November 18, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I do hate America and enjoy shooting bald eagles cooking them on top of burning flags.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 18, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I imagine Donte Hall's numbers will increase in the coming weeks.


Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | November 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I do hate America and enjoy shooting bald eagles cooking them on top of burning flags.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 18, 2008 4:46 PM


Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

But how much of the overall voting weight is fan voting?

Posted by: freakzilla | November 18, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Also, how stupid is it that they start fan voting for the Pro Bowl before the season is half over?

Posted by: freakzilla | November 18, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

You mean DeAngelo "WaPo..."?

Posted by: joeblazin | November 18, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Horton > Fukudome

Posted by: theraph | November 18, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice Stogie-wielding Sonny in these ads?

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | November 18, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Congrats to Larry Michaels & Co. for a job well done.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | November 18, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Do you Post writers live in a vacuum? Have you not noticed that the Pro Bowl voting has been a joke for years?

If you want to write about the mockery, do some damn research and take a look at who has actually gone to the Pro Bowl during the last few years and compare them to the guys that should have gone those years.

Where have you been? You don't seem to have a problem with other team's undeserving players going to the Pro Bowl, why do you have a problem with the Redskins?

Posted by: bobbobbobbobbobaran | November 18, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Dan you're bashing the Redskins fans for supporting their team? Really?! The Redskins are the most loyal fan base in the NFL, do you think we'd vote for someone of another team to go to the pro bowl? How about us Redskins fans vote for the Cowboys to go to the pro bowl, we all know that they definitely deserve our vote before the Redskins do. I mean who's actually heard of fans voting for their favorite team or players to make it to the pro bowl? Really, who does such a thing?

Posted by: mrsamayrant | November 18, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Hell, the Cowboys elected what, 75 percent of last year's starters? And got how far in the playoffs? Suddenly it's a tragedy that the Redskins are taking advantage of the stupid method by which pro bowlers are selected. Nobody said 'boo' when the 'boys were pulling this, and now the WaPo hell. Why bother? You linkbaiter.

Posted by: shekb | November 18, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

You know what? F you Dan Steinberg. You act like this is something new. The pro-bowl is about voting. And the NFL's website itself encourages people to vote multiple times. Without registration! Even in the NBA, where registration is required, how do you think Yao Ming managed to rack up so many all-star votes in his first season? Please! There's nothing wrong with what the Redskins are doing. In fact, it's genius.

I know people like to bash the Redskins management but to call this a mockery is taking partisan hackery to a new level.

Posted by: tundey | November 19, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins fans are the most loyal fan base in the NFL? (cough) A stadium (ahem) full of (gag) Steeler fans (cough). Loyalty only goes so far, after all . . .

Posted by: mdean3 | November 19, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg, this is why everyone thinks the Post has an anti-Redskins agenda. Ballot stuffing in all star voting is hardly unusual and the fact is that the Redskins HAVE been underrepresented in past seasons. The snide tone of your post here is petty and pretty stupid.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

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