Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith joins Pro Bowl roster
By Adam Carlson
Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith has been added to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii as an alternate, making him the third Vikings player invited.
The Pro Bowl has always been a bit of a joke since the participants are voted in to the game by fans and peers and not their performance on the field. There are too many times where a player is having an amazing season only to get snubbed at what is essentially an all-star game.
Luckily, there is a chance to rectify that. To compensate for injuries and players in the Super Bowl, alternates are named which are typically productive players who were overlooked the first time around. That’s exactly the case with Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith when an injury to Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas forced him to miss the game.
It can be argued that Smith was the best safety in the league during 2016. His physical brand of play intimidated opposing players and he was still active enough in coverage to be an effective tool in the passing game.
Here is the announcement from the official Minnesota Vikings twitter account:
While Harrison Smith is honored to represent the Minnesota Vikings at the Pro Bowl, a fire still burns in him that wants to be in the Super Bowl instead according to Vikings.com.
"“[The Pro Bowl] isn’t what I think about when I go out to play. I just go out and look for the win. I wish we were playing this weekend. I wish we were playing two weekends from now,” Smith said. “That’s why we play, that’s what we were doing with the Vikings. That’s where everybody’s mindset is.”"
Smith might know that the Super Bowl is the big goal, but he also knows how much recognition it takes from fans to get voted into the Pro Bowl, even as an alternate.
"“It’s obviously an honor to have that much support from the Vikings fans who always watch the games, who vote for us for things like this,” Smith said. “I think it makes the fans proud and makes the organization proud when we can get some guys into these games.”"
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Harrison Smith joins running back Adrian Peterson and defensive end Everson Griffen as representatives from the Minnesota Vikings in the Pro Bowl, which will be played on January 31, 2016.