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A Festivus Airing of Pro Bowl Grievances (& Congratulations) | Carmen Catches Up

Congratulations are all well and good – but in the spirit of Festivus, let’s not forget about how the Pro Bowl disappointed us this year, too.

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-Pro Bowl selections were announced on Wednesday night and while there will be deserved praise showered upon the FIVE Buccaneers that made the roster, including three offensive lineman (I could cry!), in the true spirit of Festivus, a holiday in which yours truly observes each year given that my parents raised me on Seinfeld, I'd like to take this opportunity to air out my grievances. Gather 'round my hypothetical table as I tell you how the Pro Bowl selection committee has disappointed me yet again this year. As Frank Costanza says: I got a lot of problems with you people and now, you're going to hear about it!

First off, I mentioned how there are three offensive linemen who undoubtedly defined 'Feats of Strength' all season, including Ali Marpet, for whom I have personally advocated for years, along with many others. There's also center Ryan Jensen, who after nine years in the league, finally gets recognized for being one of the best at his position across the entire NFL. I guess that's what happens when you're snapping to the greatest quarterback the league has ever seen - people notice. Who would have thought? And then here comes right tackle Tristan Wirfs, bright-eyed and bushy tailed in just his second year in the league, coming in hot with a selection he had to wait like .2 seconds for. Kids these days, am I right?

Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett made his second Pro Bowl in three years and even wore his hoodie from the 2020 game to his press conference talking about it, which was a total flex. Barrett has quietly had an impressive season as he sits 1.0 sack away from double digits and leads the team with 21 quarterback hits. He's also forced three fumbles and recovered two.

Then there is Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., who despite not being first of his name, is the first player in NFL history to make 15 Pro Bowls in his career. At 44 years old.

Fine, great, wonderful, outstanding.

It may be the most Pro Bowl selections the Buccaneers have had since 2015 but *bangs fist on table* it's still not enough.

Those three o-lineman should be five, quite frankly. Even Wirfs said so.

Right guard Alex Cappa was chosen as an alternate but left tackle Donovan Smith being left completely off? After being one half of the best tackle tandem in the league? When that other half made the Pro Bowl? Not to mention the unit as a whole has played an integral role in keeping Brady as the least-sacked quarterback in the league this year. He also has the lowest pressure rate on dropbacks of any quarterback not just this year, but in the last five years, at 15.6%. Yes, some of that has to do with Brady's 2.5-second time-to-throw average but it also has to do with the line, thank you very much. Also – do you know that the Bucs have seven games with over 100 yards of offense on the ground? That doesn't happen without the line, no matter how much of a stud Leonard Fournette has turned into.

Speaking of Fournette – yes, he may have just been placed on injured reserve with a foot injury but before Sunday's game against New Orleans, he'd been as reliable as they come as he morphed into an every-down back in front of our very eyes. He had the most receptions of any running back in the league prior to last Sunday. He was also top 10 in scrimmage yards and scrimmage touchdowns and was one of only nine players in the league with over 1,000 scrimmage yards and over 10 scrimmage touchdowns. That's including wideouts, people. Since the start of the 2020 playoffs, Fournette had the most offensive touches of any running back, the second-most scrimmage yards and was tied for fourth in scrimmage touchdowns.

And he gets a measly alternate spot?

You know who also got an alternate spot? Chris. OneFo. Godwin. AND Mike Evans. At least Evans was a first alternate. But what else do these receivers have to do? Evans has the second-most touchdowns of any receiver in the league, currently. Godwin, prior to Sunday, had the fourth-most yards of any receiver and had the second-most receptions.

And that was just the OFFENSE.

I've got seven letters for the selection committee on behalf of the defense...

No, not those seven letters.

Vita. Vea.

You're going to put one of the most domineering and impactful players as an alternate? And not even a first alternate! At least Devin White and Antoine Winfield Jr. were first alternates. I understand that Vea doesn't have the gaudy sack numbers afforded to interior defensive linemen in 4-3 schemes, thereby making it a bit harder for him to get noticed but I'd think anyone who has ever gameplanned against this man wouldn't be able to scribble in his name on the ballot fast enough. He is an absolute game wrecker and you're delusional if you don't see that.

I don't think you want to get me started on the fact that inside linebacker Lavonte David didn't even make the alternates list. It's a travesty. A sham. A disgrace!

In an unrelated note: I find tinsel distracting.

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