In order to break up the monotony of Ayers v. the World among other burned and re-burned topics, I bring you on this 1st day of March, 2011 - The All-Nate Team of 2010!
This is nothing formal, just my own All-Star team. Guys who may not be the top of their respective position, but through some coercion have found a place in my football heart. Feel free to comment/add your own.
QB: Michael Vick, PHI - Spent 2 years in prison, and sat quietly behind Donovan McNabb, plotting his return. Took advantage of a lucky concussion to take the starting job of Eagles incumbent (and former 1st round pick) backup Kevin Kolb, and then punched his ticket out of town, after receiving a franchise tender and a future long-term contract, all while finishing 1b to Tom Brady for league MVP this year.
"The Incomparable" may just deserve his title once more.
RB: LeGarrette Blount, TB - Outside of having a fantastic last name, Blount joined Arian Foster as a recent undrafted rookie 1,000 yard rusher. Much maligned for his antics through college, he climbed through a depth chart with guys like Carnell Williams and Earnest Graham, only starting 7 games (seeing action in 13) to end the season with just over 1000 yards and a 5.0 yard carry average.
Honorable Mention: Marshawn Lynch, SEA - Traded after Fred Jackson took over his job, Beastmode returned, giving us probably the single most impressive play of the season, and should give Seatlle some stability in their backfield (finally).
FB: John Kuhn, GB - Forced into a position where depth became an issue in Green Bay's backfield, Kuhn assumed a dual role as FB and RB, until James Starks emerged near and during the postseason. He is an everyman, reminiscent of personal favorites of mine, Cory Schlesigner and Mike Alstott, and even had his own Ndamukong Suh-style chant at GB games.
WR: Calvin Johnson, DET - Even just looking at this objectively, there's no other guy I could really pick. Calvin epitomizes pretty much everything that a top flight NFL wide receiver ISN'T. He has no drama, he rarely talks to the media aside from necessities, and he puts up absolutely ridiculous stats, even when being thrown to by 3 and 4 different quarterbacks a year. No other wide receiver can do this in the NFL, period.
TE: Chris Cooley, WAS - Cooley is another one of those guys who just seems to fit in today's NFL. He's been a great, productive, balanced TE for the Redskins, and has contributed to the league's profile in many other ways - as a blogger for Yahoo! Sports, has a side career as a potter, interviewing guys like Calvin for the NFL at the Pro Bowl, and he even does Reebok commercials. Throw in his relationship with now ex-Redskins cheerleader Christy whatever her last name is, and I'd say Cooley is a lock at TE.
OT: Jon Runyan, USA - OK, I had to cop out here a little, but not much. Runyan might not be in the NFL anymore, but he will forever be an OT, and in 2010 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey. A Flint native, Jon has transcended football and become the blindside protector of the people, with the rhetorical skills to match, with such gems as, "Hey, if you're tired of the way this country's run, let's change the people who run it!".
OG: Logan Mankins, NE - An aggressive person both on and off the field, Mankins perenially produces, and has recently taken aim at one of the more imposing franchises in the NFL. He basically gave the organization a big middle finger when they wouldn't meet his contract demands after being slighted by the FO, and continues to stand his ground, despite getting franchised.... under the current CBA. Damn the man, save the empire!
C: Doug Legursky, PIT - Made his first career NFL start... in the Super Bowl. Although it's still just another game, sure, but as a career backup, undrafted... Good luck. Nothing like the biggest thing you'll ever do in your life coming up out of nowhere. I'm not 100% sure that he was with it enough to realize what was going on, but obviously that worked out fine, right?