The Pro Bowl. Meaningless but somehow still important. The league obviously knows this as well and wants to get its pre-Super Bowl exhibition game as exciting and close to the fans as possible. One part of this process is the fan vote: fans can vote online for their favorite players at every position. The result is one third of the overall equation, with players and coaches getting the other two thirds.
Obviously, the Pro Bowl voting - especially the fan vote - is basically a popularity contest.
Otherwise, Patriots center David Andrews, he who has been benched one week after Bryan Stork returned from injury, would not have been getting the second most votes at his position. Andrews (145,812 votes) is one of eight Patriots to finish in the top two of their respective positions, as the NFL's Pro Bowl fan vote results have been officially announced yesterday.
Quarterback Tom Brady (701,554), tight end Rob Gronkowski (509,254), defensive end Chandler Jones (258,486) and kicker Stephen Gostkowski (220,920) finished at the top of their positions. Punter Ryan Allen (83,676) and wide receivers Danny Amendola (87,168; though not as a receiver but as a returner) and Matthew Slater (104,213; as the special teams ace he is), together with Andrews, came in at second place.
Brady and Gronkowski not only lead their respective positions, they are also among the top vote-getters overall: Brady finished with the most fan votes, while Gronkowski came in sixth - the highest non-quarterback on the list.
While being named a Pro Bowler is a nice title, it does not bear any meaning, especially since no player would want to play in the game: it takes place one week before the Super Bowl and does not include those, who prepare for the NFL's title game.