Tonight, I have two clients playing in the Vikings-Packers matchup, cornerback Al Harris and safety Tyrell Johnson. So whom do I root for? For me, it’s easy — the Vikings defense and Packers defense.
Last year, Harris had an escalator in his contract that would have paid him an additional $1.5 million if he made the Pro Bowl as a starter. He was just a few votes shy and was elected as an alternate, missing out on the escalator. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy about it.
Monday night games, or even one game, can be the difference maker for players in getting to the Pro Bowl. Since votes come from players and fans, the Monday night game is a great way to get noticed. For Johnson, a Vikings starter and my second-year client, a game like this could be his coming-out party. If he has a big game and makes a few good plays, the broadcasters will start talking about him, veteran players will take notice and he’ll get on the radar of NFL coaches. When this happens, coaches start giving a player respect in the film rooms around the league and incorporate them into their game plans, which sends a message that he might be worthy of a Pro Bowl vote by the players.
When John Madden was doing games, he could make the difference for some unknown offensive lineman by mentioning his name a few times and circling him with his telestrator.
You wont hear about it publicly, but players know that a game like tonight’s, one that the football world will he watching, will be an opportunity to leave a big impression in the minds of fans, coaches and other players to accumulate some Pro Bowl votes.
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