This is how my night went tonight. I sat down to watch the Pro Bowl draft, and afterward, a friend called me on the phone. "Hey, did you see that joke on TV tonight?" he asked me. "No, but I did watch the Pro Bowl draft!" I exclaimed back to him. "What's the difference?" he remarked.
Ok, that's not really how my night went at all. You should have been able to tell by the fact that I said my friend called me - does anybody call people any more, or is it just texting? That probably gave it away. But in all seriousness, I didn't watch a single minute of the Pro Bowl draft tonight. Not a minute. But, because I cover the Colts, I report news about the Colts - and that includes the Pro Bowl (which I actually will be watching on Sunday night for the same reason).
This year the NFL employed a new format for the Pro Bowl, getting rid of the AFC and NFC teams and instead going to mixed conference teams that were drafted by two captains - this year being NFL legends Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.
The NFL's first overall pick in the NFL Draft just two years ago, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was once again a first overall pick. Sanders held the first pick and he selected Luck - an alternate only selected to the Pro Bowl due to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson playing in the Super Bowl. Sanders's team is coached by Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and his staff, so I'm guessing that there was a pre-draft conversation that took place that led to Luck being the first choice. He was joined by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL's first overall pick in the NFL Draft three years ago, who was the second choice by Sanders tonight.
Also joining Luck and Pagano on Sanders's staff was Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis. J.J. Watt, a captain for Team Sanders, really wanted Mathis on his team, so Sanders made it happen. But, in another odd (and seemingly meaningless) twist on the Pro Bowl this year, there can be trades to the rosters. As the draft wound down tonight, Robert Mathis was traded from Team Sanders to Team Rice in exchange for Brian Orakpo. So now, that means that Mathis will be trying to sack Andrew Luck and that Chuck Pagano, the Colts defensive minded head coach, will be coaching against Robert Mathis.
Matt Overton, the Colts long snapper who was also selected to the Pro Bowl, was assigned to Team Rice on Tuesday.
It took Robert Mathis11 years to finally sack Peyton Manning. It might take him only 2 to get to Andrew Luck, and he might do it while they're both wearing the horseshoe on their helmet. If that doesn't seem weird to you, then I don't know what will.