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Pro Bowl DVR'd Live Blog 2011

by Bobby Loesch on January 31, 2011 at 2:36AM

The Pro Bowl is back in Hawaii, and for the third straight year, the DVR'd live blog of the Pro Bowl is back at Tremendous Upside Potential.

While the media ignores this beautiful event, and no one I personally know seems to like the game but me, it will still kill the NBA's marquee slate of games in the ratings today, because the dirty little secret is there are dopes like me out there who will watch this crap. Science.

So while I'm assuming you yourself won't tune in, join me in a Pro Bowl live blog after the jump, won't you?

- Game's on Fox. I guess Vick's a starter (how did I not know this?). We've got a studio team of Curt Menefee, Jay Glazer, Goose, and Bradshaw. I'm excited.

- Your pre-game entertainment? Oh yes, the mother fuckin' Goo Goo Dolls. Are they playing a ballad-y song I've never heard before with Hawaii dancers slowly grooving in unison to the beat? Yup yup.

This is just fantastic. And I know it's hard to believe, but the Pro Bowl is always this awesome. The Goo Goo Dolls just finished and went into another song. How is anyone allowing this to happen? Even I might call this excessive....might.

- Curt announced Bradshaw is now leaving the studio to join Billick and Thom Brennaman in the booth. About 10 minutes earlier, Bradshaw talked about Miles Austin getting a late invite to join the game and being eager to accept. He followed by saying if he got a late invite to the game while was a player, he would have gotten into a canoe and paddled from Pittsburgh to get to Hawaii.

- I guess the game's all-time series is 20-20. Today is going to be loaded with competition to see who gets over .500. They care so much.

- Pre-game interview with Goose and Ray Lewis. Ray says nothing funny. They cut to Glazer and Mike Vick afterward for a quickie, and boy if Vick doesn't look half awake...

- National anthem is done by Kris Allen. Is he some Idol guy?

- Ah, caption sez he is. We'll skip to kick off.

First quarter

- Mike Smith (boooorrrring) and Bill Belichick (AWESOME) are the coaches. I'm excited for BB and hope he rules throughout.

"This it not a game you want to coach," one of the broadcasters says.

- Hester takes the initial kickoff to the 10. Here. We. Go.

- Vick launches a huge pass downfield to Calvin Johnson on the NFC's first offensive series, but it's defended well and is incomplete. People talk so much on this game, but bottom line? We get to watch some of the game's best still do what they do best, in one on one matchups. The lack of effort from those uninvolved with the play just makes it even better. The QBs and WRs still do stuff. They do. They do some stuff.

- "Our audience really should enjoy the the QBs and wide receivers, because they're all in one-on-one matchups," Bradshaw says.

Thank you, Terry.

- Phillip Rivers is your AFC starter, and I am officially slightly less excited.

- Haha, Brandon Lloyd is also a starter.


- Peppers is out there on defense, starting his first Pro Bowl as a Bear.

- I say this every year, as it never happens, but when will there be a bad injury in the Pro Bowl? I don't root for it, but I feel like it's inevitable, and I do have a sick curiosity to see what the fall out from it would be. Ohhh, them people would be furious.

- AFC FLEA FLICKER....is incomplete. Ugh, Rivers.

- NFC with the ball again. Vick needs to do something, but he looks pretty content on not leaving the pocket. Is he even allowed to scramble?

- Vick's moved around a bit since my last complaint but still hasn't crossed the line of scrimmage on a run.

- Vick connects to Roddy White on a deep route for a nice "what could have been"-type moment. A Gonzalez reception brings the NFC to the 1-yard line, where the Falcons fullback punches it in. The FB (Mughelli) didn't even get 20 carries in the regular season, but in the Pro Bowl? A star.

- Rivers picked by London Fletcher on the next AFC play, and the NFC gets the ball back. On its own 43.

- Goose interviews Belichick. "We gotta get it going," BB says.

I'm starting to get nervous about this game maybe not being good.

- Adrian Peterson poundin' the ball a little bit for the NFC.

- ...and he takes it in for the TD from about 15 yards out on the next play. Why on earth would any AFC player want to attempt to tackle his ass? No incentive. 14-0, NFC. One of the announcers tells a story about how a few years ago, Peterson was offered a drink a few days before the game, and he declined, saying he wanted to win the MVP when they played it.

Is he crazy?

- The announcers then break into the obligatory and painfully played out "Adrian Petersen has an INCREDIBLE handshake!" stories.

- Rivers picked on the next AFC series by DeAngelo Hall, who is definitely trying.

I hope Jay Cutler had a chance to catch that on a TV while shopping in California.



Second quarter

- Matt Ryan enters the game for the NFC and is promptly picked by Devin McCourty on his first attempt. Just perfect.

- Peyton Manning in for the AFC on the next series.

- "Do you know I made the Pro Bowl one year, and I threw for 1,800 yards? That's embarrassing," Bradshaw says, following a Peyton mega-stats montage.

- Peyton is then picked on the next play by Falcons DB Brent Grimes. God, this is getting awesome, just like I thought it would going in.

- Matty Ice calls for a double reverse in the huddle....and Hester is the recipient, for the first down. God, he's so fast.

- Matty Ice hits Tony Gonzalez for a TD to give the NFC a 21-0 lead. Are Falcons fans pissed or sad about this?


- Manning hits Welker on a "what would the world be if it was worse and they were teammates?"-type reception. Welker then fumbles toward the end of going down, and DeAngelo Hall picks it up and runs it in for a 30-yard TD.

- I like Hall in this game. He seems like the kind of guy who wouldn't totally have an off switch. Well. 28-0, NFC.

- Glazer (interviewing Tony Gonzalez): Tony, this is, what, your 26th Pro Bowl....how do you do it?
Gonzalez: Well, you eat right and you take care of yourself, Jay. I don't know, maybe you could take a couple lessons.

He is so likable. Gonzalez also seems like a classic "would be definitively worse if on the Bears" player.

- Peyton -- whose nickname at the Pro Bowl is "The Mayor" -- is in again, for some maybe not sucking this time. First play is an awful incompletion on a go route.

- Jamaal Charles checks in... and promptly does nothing on a second down carry. Next play: another AFC incompletion on third down.

"I haven't seen one [wide receiver] blow by one of these corners yet," Bradshaw says.

Shit's gettin' real.

- Matty Ice to Fitz for another NFC TD. It's 35-0. To make matters worse (for me), McCourty bit on a fake which led to the TD.

- Ben Roethlisberger is set to join the crew at halftime. That'll be a big time skip.

- Sideline shot of Belichick. Never has a man looked so unanimated wearing a lei.

- The Ben halftime promo leads to some major Steelers fellating in the booth. Every cliche possible: great continuity, stable organizational influence, amazing coaching hires, strong running game, Rooney family, blah blee bluhhh. Urrgh.

- In better news, Bobby hero Matt Cassel has entered the game for the AFC. Time to shine, Matty C. Make me proud. Don't let Matty Ice out-Matty you.

- Cassel is picked the fuck off almost immediately by Antoine Winfield of the Vikings. If playing QB in this game is so hard, why are the NFC dudes executing so much better than their counterparts?

- Asked for Pro Bowl stories from the past, Bradshaw begins a rambling going-nowhere story about a game in the 1960s, pauses, then says, "Oh, I don't know any stories, I just showed up on Friday."

"So did the AFC," one of the other dudes follows.

- With five minutes left in the half, Bradshaw peaces from the booth to get ready for his halftime crap. He will be missed.

- Steven Jackson (still alive) scores on a sweep-ish looking run. 42-0, NFC. Just wow.

- J. Charles takes it in on the next AFC position, and the AFC is on the board!

(Skipping halftime)

Second half

- Rivers to Reggie Wayne for an early third quarter touchdown. 42-14, NFC.

- The AFC kick off to Hester, who fumbles an attempted handoff to DeAngelo Hall. AFC picks up the ball and runs it in for a TD. 42-21, NFC -- and the Pro Bowl redeems itself (eh, sorta). I'm mostly glad Hall (for good and bad reasons) is staying in the mix.

- NFC field goal brings it up to 45-21.

- The AFC runs a triple reverse for about 11 yards. Meanwhile, on the sideline, Jason Whitten accuses Jay Glazer of having some sort of relationship with Michael Strahan

"We broke up," Glazer fires back.

- Lloyd drops what would have been a great TD pass from Rivers. This game is pissing me off.

- I take it back -- Mercedes Lewis reels in a TD with a powerful finish on the next play. 45-28, NFC. Do we have a ball game on our hands? Dare I say?

"Well, uh, this one has gotten a little more interesting," a broadcaster says.

- After getting the ball back, the AFC fails to convert on the fourth down, and we might officially be unraveling.

- The shots of Hawaii (beaches, oceans, surfing, volcanoes) is just absolutely gorgeous. I'm actually taking a trip there later this week (well, maybe... if standby pays off). Missing the Pro Bowl by a week is just an immediate and immense regret. It'd be my top draw for sure.

- Jay Glazer on the side line tells Mike Smith he wants to call a play. Mike Smith basically tells him to get the hell out of there in a cheesy way where it looks like he's faking his anger. It almost looked rehearsed.

- They cut to Glazer again after the play, and Smith unexpectedly decides to let him call the following play. Glazer's mic is inexplicably connected to Brees' headset, so he radios the play into Brees, who audibly says "Are you serious?"

The NFC gets the play off with one second left on the clock, and Brees hits Witten downfield. Glazer is fired up and shameless.

- A shirtless fan runs out on the field and is arrested. Darnell Docket is literally on his back, laughing in the middle of the field at the sequence.

"The young man who is on his way to jail will not snicker much the rest of the night," Brennaman says.

- It's 48-28 and the AFC takes the field, presumably to score a garbage touchdown.

- Cassel drops back, pumps, and... throws a pick six to Jon Beasen. Such a sad showing for the AFC QBs. 55-28, NFC.

- And we have our first penalty of the game: illegal defense on the NFC D! Every time the Pro Bowl lets me down, it picks me right back up.

- Lost in the mess, Brennaman, Billick, and Bradshaw have a very interesting and insightful discussion on talent evaluation in the NFL. All three discuss the oft talked about Tom Brady story, and Bradshaw reveals his uncertainty of how he, personally, would have fared in today's NFL -- admitting he probably would have gone lower in the draft with all of the specific tests and micro-evaluations that go on in 2011. He adds something like, "I may not Wonderlic, but I know who's open and who to throw it to."

- ...and Cassel throws a garbage TD. 55-35, NFC.

- The AFC fails to convert on an onside kick as Peterson catches the ball and legitimately tries to score a touchdown off it. Moments later, the NFC is taking knees, and the game is over. The only drama left is the MVP.

- I spoke too soon... the AFC somehow got the ball back. And, well, I'll let THE TYGRRRR EXPRESS recap the sequence:
...despite the kneeldowns, a few seconds still remained. Only in the Pro Bowl would the following sequence happen. The hook and ladder should have been over at midfield when the defender had the receiver. Yet the defender refused to tackle him, figuring the game was over. The receiver lateraled the ball to Alex Mack, who is a center. "Big Man With Football" rumbled down the sideline and shook off another halfhearted block. Mack scored to complete the 67 yard touchdown. Yes, a center scored a touchdown on a 67 yard play. Matt Cassel even came in on the onsides kick team with seconds left. This is the Pro Bowl. The NFC recovered, and one final kneel-down finally ended things. The AFC outscored the NFC 42-13 down the stretch, but the 42-0 early deficit was too much to overcome.
- And DeAngelo Hall is our MVP! I couldn't be happier.

"Congratulations to Hall, who wasn't originally slated to be on the NFC Team, but... good for him."

Good for all of us, really.

Bobby Loesch is the assistant editor of Tremendous Upside Potential. He can be reached at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy.

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I'm 57, I love NFL football, and I've never bothered to watch so much as a single down in any Pro Bowl game. The only thing that I can imagine being more meaningless is a pre-season game, but at least I get to watch my own team floundering around on the field.

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