Redskins' Fletcher deals with latest Pro Bowl snub

ASHBURN, Va. -- Last year, he called himself "the Susan Lucci of the NFL." This year, London Fletcher is dealing with his latest snub by declaring himself a fan of the New Orleans Saints.

The Washington Redskins middle linebacker has been the league's most prolific tackler this decade and hasn't missed a game in his 12-year career, yet he was passed over again when the Pro Bowl selections were announced Tuesday.

Fletcher was indignant a year ago, calling himself "Hall of Fame worthy" and comparing himself to the soap opera star who was nominated 18 times for an Emmy before finally winning.

This time, he's holding out hope that he can still make it because he's a first alternate for the first time in his career. He's usually a second or third alternate.

"You can get caught up with what you don't have that you lose sight of what you do have," Fletcher said Wednesday. "I'm still holding out hope that maybe something happens where I'm able to get in there. Maybe one of those guys decides, 'You know what? Hey, let's let this guy go in.' I'm not disappointed. I'm still considered one of the top middle linebackers in the game, and that's all you can do."

The Redskins' losing record - 4-11 heading into Sunday's season finale at San Diego - hurt the team's overall Pro Bowl chances. Rookie outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was the only player selected.

The two inside linebackers chosen ahead of Fletcher for the NFC team were Jonathan Vilma of New Orleans and Patrick Willis of San Francisco. Vilma would have to drop out if the Saints make the Super Bowl because the Pro Bowl is being played the week before the NFL title game for the first time.

Pro Bowl rosters

The fans, players and coaches have spoken ... London Fletcher is not a Pro Bowler. Should the Redskins linebacker finally gotten that Pro Bowl nod? Have at it with other fans. Discuss ...

After hearing the selections Tuesday, Fletcher said he contacted Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who used to be with the Redskins.

"I sent Gregg Williams a text saying 'I'm a huge, huge New Orleans fan. Congratulations, Vilma. Go Saints,"' Fletcher said.

Fletcher said it wouldn't diminish the accomplishment if he got in because someone else had to drop out.

"They'll introduce me as a Pro Bowl linebacker, London Fletcher," Fletcher said. "You don't say he's a replacement Pro Bowl player. It doesn't matter. I don't have an ego like that. It doesn't matter how I got in."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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