It was announced this week that London Fletcher had been added to the 2011 Pro Bowl roster. He should have been there in the first place. Today’s Kudo Award is being presented to the middle linebacker that continues to perform at an all-star level at 36 years old.
Any 35-45 year old man that cheers for the Washington Redskins has to love Fletch – we can somehow live vicariously through him. It’s as if the fact that ONE 36-year old man has managed to play professional football well into his thirties, that somehow it’s possible for any and all. And while I guess the fact that Fletch still goes out and does it week in and week out, it IS possible – I’m not sure that its any more achievable than any other superhuman feat.
166 tackles officially. 209 tackles if you ask the Redskins staff for their official tally. Add to that 1.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.
I think next year, I’m going to see what I feel like after hitting a tackling dummy 209 times. I’ll set it up in my backyard and every Sunday I’ll hit it the requisite 15-20 times a week it takes me to get to 209. I bet you I sustain more injury in my backyard than London Fletcher does on an NFL football field. And it’s not like he’s slowing down.
It isn’t like his play ‘dropped off’ in 2011 or anything. As a matter of fact, the worse the Redskins got, and the more the defense was depended on, and the more pressure that was put on the defense’s captain, the better London performed. Unfortunately, at mid-season there were games where he was one of the few Redskins that even showed up to play (Buffalo). While it was a low point for the team on the season, as usual, Fletch stepped up most when it was needed the most. His character is undeniable – he is a true leader, and he leads by example.
I listen to the argument that Fletcher isn’t under-rated by virtue of the fact that he has actually been selected to the Pro Bowl before. Hog Wash! He made it in 2009 because a huge stink was kicked up that he had never been there before – otherwise he might not have ever made it to Hawaii. He was ‘added’ in 2010, like he was ‘added’ in 2011, so despite being bestowed with the honor three years running, two of them were with an asterisk.
London Fletcher deserves better than asterisks. If his talent wasn’t being underrated, there wouldn’t be any asterisks. Sure people now recognize that he is a great player, but asterisks indicate that people still don’t quite understand just how good the 14-year veteran is.
He gets a 2011 Kudo award, and I’ll give him a lifetime Kudo Achievement Award when he retires.
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London Fletcher NFL Profile – http://www.nfl.com/player/londonfletcher/2500650/profile