Maybe it's because David Diehl has never actually watched an NFL game. He's played in every one of them since he was drafted by the Giants in 2003. But the team's starting tackle said this week that when he walked out of the stadium following last year's Pro Bowl, a game he was a spectator at as a guest of Eli Manning's, he had some strange feelings.
“Going there and being part of that and seeing how excited the guys were to be there and how much fun they had was great,” Diehl said. “I left that place, as crazy as it sounds, I left angry. I think one of the main things it did for me was give me motivation to push myself even harder to do whatever it took to be a part of it, to be in the game, instead of being a spectator looking in."
Diehl will get that chance. He and Chris Snee were officially named to the NFC's Pro Bowl roster this week, although it was just a formality. They two players actually knew they would be playing in the game last week when the Vikings and the Saints advanced to the NFC title game. No matter who won, that team would have a Pro Bowl guard and tackle ineligible to play in the all-star game and Diehl and Snee, both first-alternates, would take their place.
We wrote about that last week if you want to go back and get more info.
Diehl and Snee join center Shaun O'Hara, who was voted in as a reserve but will actually start the game, and Steve Smith, a first-alternate at receiver who is filling in for injured Larry Fitzgerald. Had Fitzgerald not been hurt, though, Smith would NOT have gone to the Pro Bowl because the Saints do not have a receiver on the team.