With the Pro Bowl coming on tonight and what's sure to be a lively Open Thread-Jacking of epic proportions during the game (Peeps, don't let me down!!), here's your classic HansDat "morning of" post to get you in the right frame of mind...
While I'm not running a Saints Pro Bowl Trivia Challenge this year (sorry!), as I have done a couple of other times in the past (sorry again!), I am hosting this here 2015 NFL Pro Bowl Prediction Contest.
So, either polish up your properly-inflated crystal ball, wipe the fog off your X-Ray Specs, adjust your tin foil hat, or do whatever it is you do to see into the future, and make your best guesses at the following questions. I'll follow up by awarding prize(s) to the winner(s) in a results post.
1) Which team will win, and what will the final score be?
2) Who will be the offensive MVP? (provide player's stat line as a tiebreaker, please)
3) Who will be the defensive MVP? (provide player's stat line as tiebreaker, please)
4) What will be the most "talked about" (noteworthy/ridiculous/silly/stupid/crazy/OMG) moment of the Pro Bowl event today?
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Since I'm not doing the trivia challenge, here are a couple Did You Know...? trivia notes to complete you...
Some have noted that in 2014, as badly as the Saints played and how disappointed they were with the "elite star player" performances, no Saints players truly deserved to make the Pro Bowl.
Did you know that the last time the Pro Bowl voters/selectors placed no Saints players was following Payton's only other 7-9 "worst-ever" season in 2007?
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With RB Mark Ingram added to the squad to replace Marshawn Lynch this year, he becomes the first Saints running back since 2003 (Deuce McAllister) to make the Pro Bowl.
Did you know that in 1969, the Saints actually placed two RBs on the Pro Bowl?
Yeah...the team went a franchise-best 5-9 in its third year of existence, and finished 6th in the league in scoring @ 22.2 ppg. The stud backfield tandem of Andy Livingston (181 carries for 761 yards and 5 TDs, along with 28 receptions for 278 yards and 3 TDs) and Tony Baker (134 carries for 642 yards and a TD, along with 34 receptions for 352 yards and a TD) represented the team in the Pro Bowl, along with G/TE Jake Kupp, original FPK Tom Dempsey (who also made All-Pro that year), and future ex-Head Coach Tom Fears. WR Danny Abramowicz made All-Pro that year, but was not selected for the Pro Bowl.
Please don't EVEN try to argue that the Saints also put two ball carriers on the team in 2002, with both Deuce and Fred McAfee in the Pro Bowl. While that is technically true in the sense that both were listed on the roster as RBs that year, McAfee made the squad for his special teams contributions, and not for his performance in the backfield.
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Don't forget to make sure those predictions are posted before the start of the game tonight, and have a great day! Hope to see you in the Open Thread tonight.