“It’s a conspiracy. It’s an outrage. It’s the best inside (or outside) linebacker in the game being snubbed. It’s a giant middle finger from the NFL to David.”
At least that’s what Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans would have the fans of the other 31 teams believe.
We’ve all seen the venom with our own eyes. We’ve used misquoted stats to justify why Lavonte should be going to Orlando. Generally, the attitude seems to be one of the best linebackers in the game today is routinely ignored when putting these popularity contests together. Why shouldn’t he be going either? He has what every team needs in the linebacker spot. He makes crucial stops and splash plays against some of the best that football has to offer.
So why is he routinely not among the players to appear in the Pro Bowl?
Well, firstly, we need to swallow the venom for just a hot second and understand HOW players are selected. A massive one-third of voting capital is held by fans. These are people that, outside of their rosters, would not be able to name players on different rosters in more obscure positions.
I challenge you right now.
Without looking online and just from memory name 3 offensive linemen, or defensive linemen, or any other positions for that matter. Then tell me who is doing the best. You probably can’t, and that isn’t an insult, that just means you are equal to about 95% of fans. So what do these fans do when hitting the vote button? They head to stats websites and vote for the top players if they don’t already know their names!
“David isn’t even in the top ten when it comes to these lists. The NFL’s website has him listed at 17, and that’s a long way to look for someone.”
Lastly, name recognition is huge. How else do you explain the inclusion of Von Miller? A great player in years gone by; however, this year, he has just 7 sacks to his name and little else. No forced fumbles. No fumble recovery. No pass deflections. No interceptions. For so many years, people have heard some player’s name somewhere, and a vote becomes automatic. Even when they have years they don’t produce.