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Lou's View: Performance vs. Popularity

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I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Great to be around family and friends, but I must say that one of my sports pet peeves reared its ugly head once again, causing me to be a bit angry over this time of festive cheer.

All-star games and the voting that goes along with it.

London Fletcher not being named to the Pro Bowl and having to settle for going if someone drops out is a travashamockery! The game should be called the popularity bowl, not the Pro Bowl.

In his 14th season, the man did not miss a game and LEADS the entire league in tackles.

Now I've heard the rationale that suggests Fletcher did not make it because he plays on a losing team. That makes no sense to me at all. It should be about talent. If teams' wins were a prerequisite for individuals to make pro bowls, then Barry Sanders would have never gone to Hawaii!

I'm happy that former Redskins Carlos Rogers and Andre Carter made the Pro Bowl, but they were on the same losing team with London last year when Fletcher was named an alternate.

They go on to winning teams and are named starters, but London has an even better year than last and he still can't crack the lineup? If Carlos would have caught interceptions last year he would have gone to the pro bowl on a bad team just like DeAngelo Hall did.

I can't argue with the talent and performance of Patrick Willis and DeMarcus Ware, but I can argue Brian Urlacher's selection. Both Urlacher and Fletcher are playing for teams that won't make the playoffs.

If it's close, then being the top tackler not just in the conference but the entire league should have counted for something!

London's problem, if you want to call it that, is that he is not a showoff. He just shows up and does his job. If London did more commercials, then maybe he would be voted in. But I like the fact that he just plays the game!

This all reminds me of how ridiculous it was to see Art Monk wait so long to get into the Hall of Fame. That's another voting process that is flawed and needs to be fixed!

As frustrated as he must feel, London has answered ever question about his starting snub with the grace and humility that has defined his career.

It has been a great teaching tool for me as a father as I explain to my kids that even if you are not on a winning team, you still must do your best. And even though you may not be voted most popular, your efforts will not go unnoticed.

With Fletcher scheduled to be a free agent in the offseason, this Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles could be the last time we see him in a Redskins uniform.

I will share with you what I told him in the locker room this week: "Thanks for being a class act and you don't need a bowl for us to know you are a PRO."

All-star games and the voting that surrounds them are a joke and there needs to be a different measurement of individual play in team sports.

Your thoughts?


Lou Holder is a long-time sports broadcaster in the Washington, D.C. region. He hosts "Redskins GameTime Live Presented by Verizon" for Redskins.com and the Redskins Broadcast Network.

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