Mathis, Wayne headed back to Hawaii, Luck earns first awards snub

Authored by Stew Blake on Dec 28, 2012
Mathis, Wayne headed back to Hawaii, Luck earns first awards snub

Every year, the NFL community deals with snubs when individual awards are announced. We often see a few players overlooked who have had a tremendous year and while there’s not uproar, it does takes away from the validity of the award.
Well, folks, this year is no different for the Pro Bowl.
When the Pro Bowl, also known as the completely meaningless game that the players really don’t care about, rosters were announced, there were a few glaring omissions and head-scratching inclusions.
The first? Jeff Saturday.
Saturday is one of the classiest and hardest working players in the league, but let’s be honest: Saturday was just benched in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith. Does that sound like a player who is worthy of a Pro Bowl spot?
It’s quite evident that the Pro Bowl has more to do with a player’s reputation, especially in fan voting, than their actual production over the season. Saturday is a guy who could not cut the mustard at his ripe age of 37, and was benched as a consequence.
Yet in classy Saturday fashion, he took the demotion like a champ and admitted that he had not been playing well. He called it “passing the torch,” also known as the writing on the wall. You had a great run, Jeff.
The second snub is one of the most obvious, and that’s the absence of Andrew Luck. When fan voting concluded, Luck was the third highest vote-getter among AFC quarterbacks. For once, the fans appeared to be getting it right.
But then when voting switched to the players and coaches, Luck somehow didn’t make the cut and ultimately has become the first alternate in the event that Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Matt Schaub leads their team to the Super Bowl.
Of course, on the NFC side of the quarterback column, Robert Griffin III is sitting in the third spot ahead of the likes of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. I have no problem with his inclusion, because he deserves it, but how does Luck get the snub?
Popularity.
Sure, Luck is a very popular quarterback, especially in Indianapolis, but his image does not carry the superstar weight that the man called RG3 does. RG3 is a brand’s dream, and rightfully so. He’s all about being an explosive playmaker, but also a player whose career may be cut short by such explosiveness.
Thankfully, 2011 question marks and iconic Colts Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis were not overlooked this year. Wayne has been outstanding (sixth in yards, fifth in catches) after coming up short of 1,000 yards just a year ago, and Mathis has been the only real pass-rushing threat on the Colts (eight sacks).
Next on the awards list? MVP and all of those other regular season accolades.
Offensive Rookie of the Year is an award that Luck should easily win (seven game-winning drives, anyone), but I can see it now, and no, I’m not Nostradamus: RG3 wins!



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