Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This Just In: The Pro Bowl Sucks

In all my years of watching professional sports, I don't think that I have ever tuned in for one NFL Pro Bowl. Ever. If I were Roger Goodell, I would seriously consider getting rid of this game. There is just no way it can ever be feasible or worthwhile enough to play.

The NHL, NBA and MLB all have good things going with their respective All-Star weekends. While the NHL and NBA All-Star games themselves are not great to watch, they are still fairly palatable, and occur during the peak times of their seasons. Moreover, the skills competitions for both are very exciting and really make the weekends what they are. One can not think of the NHL All Star weekend without thinking of Al Iafrate ripping a 105 mph slapshot while sporting a balding mullet hairstyle. For the NBA, we all hearken back to images of Dee Brown, Shawn Kemp (in my opinion the dunk at 2:20 is the second best dunk ever), or Vince Carter bringing the house down with never before seen dunks. While both of these all star weekends are great though, they pale in comparison to the MLB All Star Game.

The Midsummer Classic is far and away the best All Star weekend. The Home Run Derby is one of the greatest spectator events in all of sports, but the game is really what makes the weekend. The fact that the All Star Game in baseball determines home field in the playoffs makes it so much more important and meaningful than any other all star game. Besides being exciting for the fans, the players also take it seriously. It is more than just an exhibition game. Major League Baseball has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the All Star weekend. The NFL however, fails to hit on any of these key elements for the Pro Bowl.

Let's go down the laundry list of problems facing the Pro Bowl:

-The players don't care about it and half of those voted in don't even go

-It can't be played during the season

-There is no meaningful or memorable skills competition

-The game means nothing

-Until this year it had taken place in Hawaii and couldn't be broadcast live

All of these hurdles make the NFL Pro Bowl pretty much unwatchable. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who is in the habit of watching reruns of old baseball games and golf tournaments. Because football is such a high risk of injury sport and since each regular season game is so important, I don't see any way that the NFL can change the timing of the game without mass dropouts by players, or some sort of two hand touch clause or something. Moreover, with the Super Bowl run how it is now, there is no way the game could determine home field advantage. That leaves us with the skills competition. This is the only way I could see the NFL saving the Pro Bowl. They would need to come up with some great skill contests that people want to watch. Not just a QB throwing a football through a tire. As we know, all you need is Levitra to do that. Still though, they would run into the problem of the weekend being off of peak season, so there is no guarantee people would watch.

I honestly don't think there is any real way to gain more appeal for the Pro Bowl. There are a myriad of problems that the NFL faces when trying to market it according to the guidelines of the other 3 major sports all star games, and if they can't follow those guidelines I don't think it is feasible for it to be a success. Time to put the Pro Bowl out of its misery. Maybe instead the NFL could um, I don't know, HOLD THE NFL DRAFT EARLIER.

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