Originally Posted by Howardlittleton64
It's a 1/3 of the vote I thought? If it is it has more than just a little effect.
It is one-third of the vote, but it has far less of an impact on the results than the coach and player votes do.
Think of the way that most fans vote -- they usually vote for the players on their favorite teams. Most Cowboys fans would vote for Romo, Redskins fans for Griffin, Giants fans for Eli, Packers fans for Rodgers, Saints fans for Brees, Falcons fans for Ryan, etc. Guys like Stafford, Newton, Cutler and even Russell Wilson will get plenty of votes from their teams' fans, too. Even Vick, Bradford, Ponder, Freeman and both 49ers QBs will get some support from their teams' fans. This means that the fans' votes are getting divided between just about every starting QB.
On the other hand, the coaches' and players' votes are divided among far fewer players -- only one coaches' ballot and one players' ballot are cast by each team. They vote for only the top two (weighted for first team and second team), and they cannot vote for guys on their own teams, so a smaller number of players will be getting votes at all. There might be some disagreement when it's not obvious who the top two or three are, but for the most part, about five guys will be getting the vast majority of the votes.
When the "thirds" are combined, it's based on the percentages of the votes received in each third. The winner of the fan vote at a position might have been named on 30 percent of the ballots, but if he got very little support from the coaches and players, he won't finish very highly in the final tally. On the other hand, if a guy is named by 5 percent of the fans but is the first choice on 50 percent of the coaches' and players' ballots, he'll almost certainly be the Pro Bowl starter.
There are all kinds of examples of guys who won the Pro Bowl fan voting but were not even in the top six or seven after the coach and player votes were included, and there are plenty of examples of guys who were not even in the fans' top five at a position but ended up as the Pro Bowl starter because of the coaches and players.
In essence, the coaches and players decide who goes to the Pro Bowl. The fans are not much more than the "tiebreaking" vote if it's close.