Yes, Mrs. Dalton, looks like you'll be able to escape beautiful Cincinnati, at least for a weekend.
Not a bad week for Frogs in the NFL, as long as those Frogs don't play for the Jets. Marshall Newhouse, who has been a starter for weeks now, and Marcus Cannon saw extensive action for their Playoff bound teams in wins. Plus, after connecting on one of the most incredible touchdowns you will ever see to Jerome Simpson, Andy Dalton topped it off by being named the first Pro Bowl alternate for the AFC under center - yes, over team Tebow, an upset in itself based on the media slob he receives. It didn't come without its hiccups, though, as Dalton was left off the initial roster pretty unfairly in lieu of Phillip Rivers, the most overrated QB at any level. However, the league saved some face with this move and Dalton is next in line should Tom Brady, Ben Rape or Rivers back out.
So what are the chances of this happening? A few years ago Dalton would've had a slim hope outside of one of those guys just up and deciding they didn't want to spend the last NFL weekend of the year in Hawaii tossing a few passes and sipping Mai Tai's. But now, with the game being moved to the week in between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl and remaining on the mainland, that has all changed. If a selected player is on a Super Bowl team, they will choose to sit out the Pro Bowl. Rivers' Chargers are going to be sitting at home come January, but I'd bet my life either the Patriots of the Steelers make the Super Bowl this year, thus eliminating one of those guys from the roster and moving Dalton into their spot. Sorry, Texans fans. But even if neither of those teams make it, Rape has been insanely banged up this year and it's likely he would choose to sit out the game for the sake of his brain and body. So I'm not just saying there's a chance he'll join teammate and safety net AJ Green in the Pro Bowl, I'm saying it's gonna happen.
So I think we should all give Red a standing ovation at our desks this morning on doing something that would've been deemed absolutely had you posed the question last off season. A rookie QB playing for the BENGALS of all teams in the Pro Bowl? Hell, frozen over, it has. That probably won't help Frogs recruiting in the slightest bit. It's likely Cam Newton is going to get the nod for Rookie of the Year - and, as first alternate for the NFC, perhaps he'll get to face Dalton to settle the matter one way or another - but if Dalton is to get the once hapless Bengals into the playoffs AND make the Pro Bowl? There will have been worse award season crimes, but, statistics be damned, I can't think of any off the top of my head. So congratulations to Andy and thanks for giving us all a reason to care about the NFL this weekend, since the Cowboys are going to lose, and to care about the Pro Bowl for the first time ever.