Back in July, in the midst of the Baltimore Sports Media Superstar competition, I wrote a blog surrounding the all-star games across all sports. The topic of conversation has once again been the status of the Pro Bowl as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the future of the game remains in doubt. Honestly, that might not be a bad thing. In fact, that’s a great thing!
ESPN conducted a poll today surrounding the future of the Pro Bowl and asked fans across the United States if they thought the game should be eliminated or not. Of the 50 states, 49 favored in dropping the game completely; the one state in favor of keeping the Pro Bowl is the host state Hawaii. What else do the Hawaiians have to look forward to other than awesome weather year round, surfing, the beach?
Okay… it is paradise, but not for sports.
I understand their argument in wanting to keep the Pro Bowl as it provides the football fans in Hawaii an opportunity to watch exciting football for once because the Hawaii Warriors are God awful now.
In terms of the actual percentages for “yes” and “no” answers, 72 percent of Americans voted “yes” to the question, “Should the NFL get rid of the Pro Bowl?” 28 percent of Americans voted “no.”
My question to the fans out there is: “Do any of you actually watch the game?”
I can answer that question with an infatic “no.”
As I said in my previous blog, the game is just boring. None of the players want to actually play in the game at 100 percent, full-go because they are risking serious injury by playing in yet another football game. In a contact sport where no contracts are guaranteed, I understand the players’ point-of-view. If one major injury in a football game, or an injury playing a recreational sport unrelated to football, occurs in a situation that isn’t crucial to the success of the franchise they play for, that player is silly for participating, period.
Isn’t that right Terrell Suggs? (Who suffered a partially torn achilles tendon allegedly playing basketball)
It is also understandable that the players enjoy making the trip to Hawaii to serve as another vacation in the off-season. At the same time, some of the great players in this league usually get voted onto the team and don’t opt to make the trip for several reasons:
1) They are already injured and are looking to take the time in the off-season to recuperate, relax and rehab their injuries.
2) They do not wish to make the trip because even though they are healthy, a trip to Hawaii isn’t as intriguing to them and they don’t want to risk getting hurt.
3) They are in the Super Bowl and have better things to attend to. (Clearly the best reason to miss the game)
4) They are satisfied with just being recognized.
The last two reasons are my main arguments as to why the Pro Bowl game itself needs to be eliminated.
The two-week wait between the AFC and NFC Championship games before the Super Bowl is played is filled with coverage surrounding the big game, Media Day and of course the Pro Bowl at the end of the first week. The slop-fest that is supposed to be a football game received negative criticisms even from commissioner Goodell. It has been hard to watch even by his standards. The fans know what type of brand of football is expected from the NFL and so does Goodell. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say that the Pro Bowl is “flawed.”
Other than this hit from Sean Taylor (R.I.P.), what memory do you have from the Pro Bowl?
Okay, this is pretty good too.
Most fans of the NFL can agree that the Pro Bowl is bad. My solution to the problem is to simply recognize a list of players as Pro Bowl players. Yes, there is still the possibility of fan-voting resulting in a popularity contest. At this point, J.J. Watt could miss the rest of the season and still probably make the Pro Bowl because of that last statement. I’m sure Watt would rather be eating burritos or playing in the Super Bowl than risking injury in a meaningless game.
Players want to be recognized for their accomplishments. Give them the recognition they deserve and save their careers. As cool as it might seem for some players, especially first-and-second-year players, to make the trip to Aloha Stadium, most veterans could care less and are just at the game to make an appearance. If the players aren’t going to take it serious, why play the game?
Cue Herm Edwards.
Better yet, cue Jim Mora for my enjoyment because that is truly how I feel whenever I watch the Pro Bowl, or when the Ravens get trounced by 30 on the road to the Houston Texans.
Follow me on Twitter @Jeff_Kryglik.