Is the Pro-Bowl Anything worth watching anymore?
Pro Bowl Feb 2012 logo
Pro Bowls Impact Lessens
Another day has come in which multiple players selected to this years NFL Pro Bowl have decided not to participate. The latest player to turn down their role is Baltimore Ravens corner back Ed Reed due to injury.
It's clear that being selected to the Pro Bowl is an honor determined by the fans, but are we the fans really getting what we bargain for?
Players who obviously are to play in the Super Bowl which is scheduled one week after the Pro Bowl game can't participate and that's understandable. As well as many players who have other commitments or injuries and cannot play that were previously selected. There are some, although few, but some players that just don't want to play. At this point can you blame them?
The NFL has made major improvements to it's organization over the past few years, even decades, but one of the weakest links left is the Pro Bowl. This is a game of divisional all-stars, if you will that play in a semi-competitive game. A game in which the QB is not to be sacked, and most players, rightly so, play half-heartedly. There is NO incentive or competitive drive for this one game played annually except maybe a small bonus check for its participants. As if these guys don't already have enough money!
I think it's an honor for those who are nominated and a good thing to broadcast superstars but do we really need to see the equivalent of a practice with uniforms on?
I read an earlier comment in a chat today, in which Skypilot wrote "Maybe if they did away with the pro bowl and the bonuses for playing in it, they could reduce the price of tickets so the average guy could attend a regular season game once in a while." Well said. I couldnt' agree more.
Major League Baseball had a similiar issue years back in which the decision was finally made that its All-Star game would be played but the incentive would give the winning division the home field advantage during the World Series. It wasn't much but it meant something. It meant something to the fans, you know, the ones who pay for all of this sports entertainment.
It would be wise to review procedures for how the NFL could make the Pro Bowl matter, if it decides to keep it. Commisioner Roger Goodell, who just today signed an extension on his contract through the year 2018, may want to dig deeper into finding a way that this end of year specticul could produce more interest from its fan base as opposed to what some call just a popularity contest.
It could even be a small step in that the winning division either AFC of NFC, will be the deciding factor for which of the stadiums can be drawn from for the next year's Super Bowl hosting. If the AFC team wins, then only AFC teams are in the hat for next year's Super Bowl extravaganza and so on.
At $25,000 a player to participate as a bonus, and I'm sure most players donate that money to some charity anyways, maybe pull 5 ticket stubs during the end of each quarter and at halftime and have 5 paid attendance members win that $25,000 instead. Maybe then, you'll have more people in the stands. These are just some small options that could highlight what is evidently becoming more of a joke then once intended.