Pro Bowl Continues to Fall Flat Even With Changes

Stephen Jiron
The Paw Print

There was a game played on Sunday and, whether you’re a football fan or not, chances are you didn’t watch it. Quite honestly the only reason I found out about it is because I heard a blurb about it on my news feed. The game is the NFL Pro Bowl. It’s a tradition, every year players get voted in and every year the players that people really want to see don’t play because they are too busy preparing for the Super Bowl the following week and don’t want to get injured playing in a game that doesn’t matter, or they just plain have anything better to do. Most players treat the Pro Bowl exactly like what it is: a popularity contest. The player’s names that you’ve heard over and over again, those are the players that you’ll see in the Pro Bowl.
Don’t get me wrong so far as last Sunday went the Pro Bowl probably still ruled the ratings however, but you look at some quotes from commissioner Goodell, and you can’t help but feel like even he feels like it’s a failing enterprise. “You have to admit, it was very competitive,” and, “It was real football.” Last year the NFL watched viewership of the Pro Bowl fell again, and it was in question whether or not they were going to cancel it. They didn’t and instead this year they un-conferenced the game and created a draft format where Deon Sanders and Jerry Rice picked from the available candidates who they wanted on their teams. Not only that but they put traditional NFL rules into a blender, hit emulsify, and decided to watch the madcap antics begin.  As you can tell I don’t have a high opinion of the Pro Bowl. I look at the Pro Bowl, and I just feel like it’s always out of place. If they had it in the middle of the season, even less players would play because then it’s not just the Super Bowl hopefuls that are sitting out trying to stay fresh; it’s the playoff hopefuls. If they make it before the season, no players would play because again it’s too risky to put injuries on the line for a game that doesn’t matter.
I have heard plenty of ways to fix the Honolulu game, anything from dropping the game altogether and just have the All-Pros compete in skills competitions like the old days, to having it be akin to a backyard barbecue game and have the players come in casual clothes and make it a just for fun flag football game.  Roger Goodell has said that he mulled doing away with the game however the players are the ones who want the game to stay. I believe it, but I feel the game is beyond saving and it may be time to let it die. Oh and the score? 22-21 Team Rice over Team Sanders is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet