The Pro Bowl
Five Buccaneers will take the field this weekend in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl, on paper a major honour for the franchise, the 2015 Buccaneers and the players involved. Unfortunately the game and everything around it has become more of a joke than ever before.

By scheduling it the week before the Super Bowl, many players immediately are out of participation. Then you have the "injuries" that many players who have been there before suddenly come up with leaving the NFL going further and further down their list of contenders to fill out the two rosters.

As for the "Pro Bowl draft", Michael Irvin is unbearable enough on NFL GameDay let alone three hours of him selecting players in a fantasy draft. The only thing, and I mean the only thing that made the Pro Bowl worth watching a few years ago, was the fact that at least you knew who the two teams would be from the AFC and NFC conference match-ups.

I am truly happy for the likes of Lavonte David and Jameis Winston for earning their first trips to Hawaii. Lavonte is well deserving of the award, Jameis honestly, perhaps not so. But it can only be good for his confidence and development to be around the best players in the NFL for a few days.

There have been some other pretty undeserving Buccaneer Pro Bowl selections in the past, most notably Wayne Haddix in 1990. He was a journeyman cornerback who happened to have seven interceptions that season returning three for scores. Hence other NFL players looked at the stats, thought he must be pretty good and voted for him. The truth was he was thrown at and beaten so many times that season, that the law of averages meant he had to pick off some of them. Half way through the following season, he was cut.

Another strange Bucs Pro Bowl connection involves former QB Mike Boryla who played briefly in the 1978 season. He was a really late replacement for the 1975 Pro Bowl when he was with the Eagles and threw two late touchdown passes almost winning MVP in the process. That really was the highlight of his NFL career and rumour has it he was the only NFL QB who answered the phone on the day the NFL called with the plane waiting on the runway to fly him to Hawaii.

Former Bucs GM Mark Dominik revealed an interesting contract fact on NFL Insiders this week about Pro Bowl bonuses. Most players have some kind of clause in their contract that gives them a bonus if they make the Pro Bowl, but only if they are an original selection, not a replacement. So Gerald McCoy and Doug Martin would earn such bonuses, but the three other Buccaneers would not.

The game itself is of course a complete joke as are most of the other All-Star games in professional sports. The NBA and NHL games have absolutely no defense played and the MLB All-Star game degenerates into a farce to get every player into the game even if home field advantage in the World Series is at stake.

But Buc fans will be watching just to see their Famous Five in action. It is just a shame that everything else surrounding the event has turned into a pathetic shambles from the on-line vote stuffing by fans, to the ridiculous uniforms, to the excuses trotted out by players who no longer want to go.