Monday, January 31, 2011

Is the Pro Bowl fixable?

(photo courtesy of

I love football. Every Sunday from September-January is off limits for me; I'm watching football. Whether its the Jets, Giants or even the Bills or a random game, it's football, football, football! But I enjoy my Sunday off between Championship weekend and the Super Bowl because there is no football on.

The Pro Bowl just doesn't count. How can you play a watchable game of football when most players are going half-speed and just trying not to get hurt? I can go outside and play touch football with my friends at a higher injury risk.

Maybe the NFL should take a page from the book of the NBA and NHL (is that a first?). Both leagues have skills competitions included in their All-Star weekend and honestly, I'd rather see NFL players in a combine-like competition than a powderpuff football game.

The MLB All-Star game is already screwed because it counts, so I won't touch that (I still watch, though). And I watch the NBA All-Star Game for the dunks and sheer talent on display. But the Pro Bowl just doesn't do it for me; give me Drew Brees vs. Philip Rivers throwing at targets 40 yards downfield or Adrian Peterson vs. Chris Johnson cutting through cones; I'd rather watch that.

The NHL also had a novel idea this season: choose captains and draft fantasy teams. I love fantasy sports, as do many people in 2011, and this idea really intrigued me. Not enough to watch the game of course, but hockey just isn't my cup of tea. Not to say I'd watch the Pro Bowl if they chose sides that way, but it would at least make it cooler.

Even the Onion knows the game is a joke:,18994/

In all seriousness though, I don't think the Pro Bowl will ever be watchable. You just can't play a joke game of football where players are happier to leave healthy than to win. And I don't think there's a fantasy draft or a skills competition that can save it.

Unless of course, that skills competition happened in lieu of the game. Then I'd probably watch. Instead of wasting three hours, I'd only waste one or two. That's a win in my book.

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