No RTs, RGs on NFC roster

Clearly, the balloting for this year's Pro Bowl squads, particularly when examining the NFC roster, was conducted at a NASCAR racetrack. Or at some other venue where only left turns are permitted. And where only left-wing radicals are registered to vote.

How else to explain that all six of the non-centers elected to the offensive line spots for the NFC all-star team play on the left side? Or that of the dozen combined tackles and guards on the NFC and AFC squads announced Wednesday, the only two strong-side blockers are Cincinnati tackle Willie Anderson and Kansas City guard Will Shields?

In a country whose collective politics now lean decidedly to the right, the NFL seems to have fallen incongruously out of step. Certainly the Pro Bowl balloting wasn't conducted on machines trucked in from, say, Florida, huh?

For a process that has become more a reflection of popularity than of performance, Pro Bowl announcement day stirs surprisingly deep passions, and considerable rhetoric about snubs and oversights and inequities. Yet the league continues to lump right- and left-side offensive linemen together, even as personnel directors acknowledge they don't use the same criteria for assessing left and right tackles.

While it rarely elicits much emotion, the policy of putting all of the offensive linemen together might well be the most glaring inequity of the entire misguided process, yet it is never addressed. And when it comes to snubs, leaning so far left essentially eliminates an entire subspecies of offensive linemen.

Some of the selections -- take a look at the NFC depth chart, where Michael Vick earned a trip to Hawaii despite a passer rating that is the conference's third-lowest, because there were so many injuries at the position -- were made from areas of weakness. And others, like the choice of Atlanta's Keith Brooking as an outside linebacker, even though he has started in the middle since Edgerton Hartwell was lost to an Achilles injury nine weeks ago, were downright confusing. Maybe the classy Brooking got bonus points for selflessness. Count cornerback Ty Law of the New York Jets -- whose six interceptions overshadowed nearly twice as many penalties -- as one of the players who made it on reputation.

There were some inspired selections, among them the nods to linebackers Cato June of Indianapolis and Chicago's Lance Briggs, but the usual head-scratcher choices, too. But nothing stands out quite so much as the offensive line tilt to the left.

Even in a subpar season for right tackles, there wasn't a single guy who could compete with the NFC's left-side trio of Walter Jones (Seattle), Chris Samuels (Washington) or Orlando Pace (St. Louis)? Right tackles such as Jordan Gross of Carolina and perhaps Mark Tauscher of Green Bay should be incensed. Neither, apparently was there a single right guard, even though Randy Thomas of Washington had a superb season and Kynan Forney of Atlanta was very good as well, capable of denting the left-siders-only club of Mike Wahle (Carolina), Steve Hutchinson (Seattle) and, most surprising, the aging Larry Allen (Dallas).

One of the only strong-side blockers to earn a spot on the all-star teams, Anderson wasn't even the best tackle on the Bengals' roster this season, as he was overshadowed by left tackle partner Levi Jones -- who did not make the AFC squad.

Oh, well, the voters rarely get things right when it comes to the Pro Bowl balloting, so it probably shouldn't be too surprising that they turned so hard to the left this year. Here's a look at some of the other deserving players, beyond offensive linemen, who didn't receive Pro Bowl invitations:

MLB Mike Peterson (Jacksonville): The two inside linebackers who made the AFC team, Miami's Zach Thomas and Denver's Al Wilson, are tough to shoot down. But Peterson was the AFC's most active "Mike" linebacker throughout the season, a tough, emerging, two-way defender who deserved more consideration.

TE Chris Cooley (Washington): Because he plays the H-back spot, Cooley is lumped in with the fullbacks in the balloting, and he finished as an alternate. But H-backs, in most cases, should be considered in the tight end category and Cooley was more consistent than, say, Atlanta's Alge Crumpler in the big picture.

WR Joey Galloway (Tampa Bay): The lone home run threat on the Bucs' offense, Galloway, at age 34 and in his 11th season, consistently beat double-team coverage, made big plays, averaged 16.2 yards and scored eight times. Who should he have bumped from the NFC team? Perhaps Santana Moss of Washington, whose production has fallen off dramatically in the second half, and who hasn't posted a 100-yard outing in eight weeks.

CB Ken Lucas (Carolina): We love Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber, not only one of the NFL's most underrated corners but one of its most underappreciated players, period. But Lucas, a physical cover defender who at times plays run support like he's a linebacker, graded out a bit higher over the course of the season.

WR Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis): Somehow he got aced out by Chris Chambers of Miami, who notched nearly 40 percent of his 72 receptions in the last three games. Not until he put together a recent two-game stretch in which he registered 23 receptions did Chambers have a game with more than six catches. With 81 receptions for the season, Wayne nearly averaged six catches per outing.

DT John Henderson (Jacksonville): He's got 27 more tackles and just as many sacks (one) as teammate Marcus Stroud, who made the AFC squad, and Henderson was the more consistent player this season.

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (Tennessee): It's hard to argue a player got snubbed when you can't cite guys at the same position who shouldn't have made the team ahead of him. That's the case with Vanden Bosch, who should be a strong candidate for comeback player of the year honors. It would have been nice, though, to see the NFL's second-leading sacker, and a player who personifies perseverance, having overcome anterior cruciate ligament injuries to both knees, duly recognized.

DE Adewale Ogunleye (Chicago): Sack numbers aren't always the best indicator of performance, but the Bears' left-side standout simply had a better season than Carolina counterpart Julius Peppers, who has been a disappointment at times.

LB Keith Bulluck (Tennessee): Sure, he plays on a really bad team, but the guy is really good, and even under dire circumstances, he didn't show any slippage this season. Bulluck has 119 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and seven passes defensed, and is one of the best all-around 'backers in the game. That he has been to just one Pro Bowl game in his career is a travesty.

NT Casey Hampton (Pittsburgh): His 39 tackles are only one shy of his career high, and while he's got zero sacks, few interior players are as crucial to the Steelers' defense. Hampton appeared in just six games in 2004 because of knee surgery, but came back even better than ever, and dominates against the run at times. Maybe the league needs to select one pure 3-4 nose tackle per team.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.