Takeo Spikes is a player to empathize with, his 12-year career has been flush with stellar play and the desire to be the best, but he's fallen short of ultimate goals through no individual fault of his. He's been to the Pro Bowl on two occasions, in 2003 and 2004, respectively, and he deserved to go again in 2011. The NFC defense is represented by Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears and Spikes' teammate, Patrick Willis on the inside linebacker front, and it is hard to dispute those selections.
Urlacher has had a good year, but Spikes' has been comparable, while not even being the go-to-guy on defense. He's got 106 tackles to Urlacher's 120, and no sacks to Brian's 3.5, but he has been a force when asked to rush the middle of the line alongside Willis. Takeo has three interceptions tough, to Urlacher's one, and that's something to consider. Still, it's hard to suggest that he unseat either of the two guys.
But this season was a Pro Bowl season. Either there needs to be another reserve, the Pro Bowl team needs to mix in some 3-4, or something along those lines because he definitely deserved it this time. It's startling to see that he wasn't even named an alternate, but one has to wonder if the committees just don't pay TED linebackers that much attention when selecting. The position is a real one, but it's undervalued in the scheme of things and despite the fact that Takeo hustled and was one of the better players on the 49ers defense throughout the season, he won't be making the trip to Hawaii this year.
It's also frustrating because Spikes has yet to make the playoffs in his 12-year career, there may be some bias for a wary fan who wants to see him get his dues. As stated, at the very least the guy deserves to be an alternate.