HONOLULU — After the NFC beat the AFC, 55-41, in Sunday’s Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium, Browns center Alex Mack was the last player still doing postgame interviews on the field.
If only you could see the twinkle in his eye.
It didn’t matter to Mack that his team got lambasted (NFC led, 42-0, in the second quarter at one point), he was soaking in his moment of glory with reporters. That Mack took it to the house for the final touchdown with 16 seconds left on a 67-yard pass play that featured two laterals was a fitting conclusion to a strange game.
Consider some of the other weirdness that happened during the game:
» The AFC committed six turnovers, five of them interceptions between Phillip Rivers (two), Matt Cassel (two) and Peyton Manning (one).
» Titans return man Marc Mariani, who returned nine kickoffs for a Pro Bowl-record326 yards (you read that right), got booed for kneeling down in the end zone.
» A lazy reverse attempt on a kickoff between Bears return man Devin Hester and Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall, the game’s MVP, resulted in an 8-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Jaguars fullback Montell Owens.
» Patriots receiver Wes Welker ran a go-route (that failed, mind you). How many times have you seen Bill Belichick call a go-route for Welker during the regular season?
Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s supposed to be this way. But for the hardcore football fan, the blunders and general sloppiness might be hard to accept because most of this stuff wouldn’t happen in “a real game” (Who wants to see the offensive and defensive lines dancing with each other all day long?).
Then again, it is the Pro Bowl. It’s kind of funny to watch, definitely entertaining. And it does make for a high-scoring game, which is just what you’d expect from the Pro Bowl.