So congratulations again to Brian Orakpo for making the Pro Bowl. It’s a well-deserved honor, and hopefully only the first of a long career. But, seriously, this London Fletcher snub thing is getting ridiculous. Orakpo handled it with class and grace last night — both in conversation and again on a conference call with reporters — but he shouldn’t have had to do that at all.
The good news is that, finally, the national media agrees, and Fletcher’s snubbing isn’t just a dirty little secret anymore. Here, then, is a collection of reactions to the news that London Fletcher once again was left off the Pro Bowl roster.
London Fletcher was right. He is the Susan Lucci of the NFL. The Washington Redskins linebacker should have been chosen to his first Pro Bowl this season, and I thought he was a dead-bolt cinch. Then I forgot: It’s Fletcher. There’s a better chance of it snowing in Phoenix than Fletcher making the Pro Bowl, and don’t ask me why.
(Judge’s whole article is devoted entirely to Fletcher, and it’s well worth reading.)
Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher: It’s time for fans, coaches and players to hang their heads in shame that Fletcher has never appeared in a Pro Bowl. He is as consistent as the sun rising in the East. Every year he leads his team in tackles and ranks among the league leaders in that category. His intensity is matched only by his leadership. You have to wonder if this pro’s pro will ever receive his just recognition.
I also hoped that coaches and player would right a longtime wrong and put London Fletcher in the Pro Bowl. It didn’t happen. I guess the guy will never get voted in. That’s too bad. He had an excellent season.
I thought this would be the year for Fletcher, but alas, he’ll remain at home. Vilma’s worthy and it’s a difficult call, but it probably came down to the fact that Vilma’s on the better team. I get it, but is that what the Pro Bowl is for?
Nothing against rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was voted to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year, but if only one player from the Washington Redskins deserved the honor, it is clearly middle linebacker London Fletcher. Besides the fact that he is currently second in the NFL in tackles with 134, he’s the heart and soul of the Washington defense. Oh, and he hits like a dump truck. Just ask Brian Westbrook. Or DeSean Jackson. Or Laurence Maroney. Or Brandon Jacobs. Or Patrick Crayton.
(The links above provide an excellent showcase of Fletcher hits, and Murphy’s post also includes some terrific pregame video of Fletcher.)
It’s a video, so here’s my transcription.
SAPP : “Somebody cheatin’, man. Come on, man. Come on. How much longer to we have to get on here and rant and rave like this? This man is a Pro Bowler in every sense of the word.”
FAULK: ” I played with this guy for five years. I’ve never watched a guy work harder in practice. He leaves it out on the field, doesn’t miss a game, has led every team that he’s played on each year in tackles, and for whatever reason people, they just choose to not — and it has to be the fans. You the fans. Because the players and the coaches know. Fans, listen: recognize this guy, understand the talent that he is. He deserves to be in the Pro Bowl.”
SAPP: “I played against him, and I want him on my defense. That’s how invaluable he is.”
FAULK: “It’s just not fair. What he does–”
SAPP: “– and how he does it –”
FAULK: “– he deserves to be in.”
UPDATE 2: Reed Doughty, from open locker room today:
“It’s frustrating…. I’m hoping that in the future he’s rewarded for everything he’s done, not just on the field but off the field. I think if you look at the film and you’re a coach, he’s well-deserving. It’s not that he’s just a smart guy. If you watch the game, he makes plays. It’s not like we’re trying to say, ‘Hey, he’s a nice guy, you should give him a Pro Bowl spot.’ He makes plays, he’s durable, he’s everything you want out of a middle linebacker.”
I’ll add more as I find it.
Tags: Brian Orakpo, BrianOrakpo, links, london fletcher, LondonFletcher, Media, Pro Bowl, ProBowl
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