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DeAngelo Hall Named Pro Bowl MVP For Very DeAngelo Hall-ish Performance

Posted by Matt Terl on January 31, 2011 – 8:55 am

There is possibly no more polarizing Redskins player than DeAngelo Hall. His critics are legion; they point to his tendency to give up the big play as the biggest on-field strike against him, and paint him as a camera-hog off the field. His fans are also fairly numerous; they point to his tendency to MAKE the big play as his greatest asset, and characterize his verbosity as a willingness to speak up that’s unusual among modern athletes. (I should mention for the sake of full disclosure that I fall solidly into the latter camp.) As is usually the case in these things, both sides have some merit, and Hall managed to make his Pro Bowl appearance a microcosm of the entire argument.

In his favor, he did the following:

  • Intercepted Phillip Rivers on a pass intended for former Redskin Brandon Lloyd.
  • Forced a Wes Welker fumble, recovered that fumble, and returned it for a touchdown.
  • Tied for a game-leading 6 tackles (with fellow Redskin Brian Orakpo).

On the other hand, he also showed up on the broadcast for these:

  • Appeared to be responsible for Reggie Wayne on his touchdown reception.
  • Was half (with Devin Hester) of a botched handoff on a kickoff return that turned into points for the other team.
  • Seemed to appear on camera a lot — first off the bench to congratulate fellow cornerback Brent Grimes, for example — in his usual demostrative way.

About as boom-or-busty as these things get, in other words.

In the end, the deciding factor was that Hall’s team won. As a result, his positives were amplified and his negatives minimized … and those positives were enough to have him named Pro Bowl MVP. “The plays just kinda came to me,” Hall said after the game, after being presented with a cartoonishly large trophy and a new Cadillac SUV.

(“I was just about to purchase another SUV,” Hall said, “so to come out here and grab one for free … I like that.” This, of course, is the sort of thing that will probably really annoy his critics.)

And Hall gets to bookend his season just about perfectly: his defining play in the season opener was a forced fumble, fumble recovery, scoop-and-score (immortalized in a panoramic shot of the new stadium) that seemed to be hugely significant but ultimately amounted to nothing. His defining play of his last game of the season was exactly the same, only going in the opposite direction on the field — and this one came in a game that was DEFINITELY completely meaningless but it ultimately won him MVP honors. Go figure.

In any event, congratulations to Hall, Orakpo, and London Fletcher (who also had an interception and four tackles) for performing well in their last opportunity of the season. Hopefully that good fortune will continue when the games actually mean something again.

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