DAVIE - The Miami Dolphins have one of the NFL's hottest teams in the month of December, but they also have one of the coldest fan bases when it comes to supporting the team during Pro Bowl voting.
Dec. 26 is the last day fans can fill out a Pro Bowl ballot, and considering the fan component is one-third of the deciding factor for who gets invited to Hawaii, it is a CRITICAL element.
It often serves as a tie breaker for positions where one player (say Charles Clay) has the edge in a coaches vote, but another player (say Jason Witten) has the edge when it comes to the player's vote.
Without fan support, players who don't have a strong coaches and player backing usually don't make it to the NFL's version of an All-Star game, which is no longer conference based.
This year the Pro Bowl teams will be done through a draft, and players aren't being selected based on their conference affiliation. They are making it based solely on their performance.
That means the dynamics of the game have really changed, and it also means the fan component is more important than ever if Dolphins players like cornerback Brent Grimes, defensive ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, tight end Charles Clay, center Mike Pouncey, receiver Brian Hartline, and punter Brandon Fields are going to make it.
Dolphins players typically struggle with fan support when it comes to Pro Bowls, and rely heavily on the votes of their peers and opposing coaches. This year, considering they are competing with everyone in the NFL, and not just the AFC, that might become tragic.
That is why I encourage you to vote for the DESERVING players, giving them a chance to be rewarded for their hard work and solid play. Every vote counts when you consider Fields led all punters when it came to fan votes, but didn't make it to last year's Pro Bowl despite having a career season.
Here is the link to vote. You don't have to vote for every position, or every player. All you need to do is pick the position and player you want to support and vote.
Teams often stuff the fan ballots, which explains how a two-win Kansas City Chiefs team had six Pro Bowlers last year. So don't feel guilty about doing your part.