There are seven days and one football game left that stand between NFL fans everywhere from today and the glorious Super Bowl. That one football game however… Is the not-so-glorious Pro Bowl. For those of you Rugby Heads that are not aware of the Pro Bowl, I’m here to inform you. And for those of you who are, I’m here to give you insight on how to make it a better game. Because if you are like me, I’m sure you are pretty disappointed with the quality of play that is produced every year.
The Pro Bowl is the NFL’s poor attempt at an All Star game for football. Every year it occurs on the Sunday before the Super Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Originally the Pro Bowl was played the weekend after the Super Bowl so the Super Bowl Champions and Runners-Up could be involved. However, that is no longer the case. Now it consists of the top players in the NFL who are not participating in the Super Bowl or are injured. Players are elected by both fan voting and player and coach voting. The voting and teams are done and announced before the playoffs have ran their course, so players in the Super Bowl can be voted to the Pro Bowl but cannot participate Teams are then divided by conference, the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. There are also a few unique rules for the Pro Bowl as well; no blitzes on defense, you must use a tight end in every offensive formation, and you cannot rush a punt, field goal, or point after attempt.
Now that you know the rules… Here are a few of my problems with the Pro Bowl:
THE DATE. If the NFL truly wants to put the best players possible on the field, wouldn’t you want the players from the last two teams playing included? Without the best players from the top two teams in the NFL you don’t have the best players playing in the Pro Bowl now do you? The Pro Bowl is meant to be a reward… So why not reward the best two teams in the league too?
THE QUOTE-ON-QUOTE “INJURIES”: For those of you Rugby Heads who watched the NFL playoffs along with me, probably noticed that nothing was wrong with both New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Yet both are not participating in the Pro Bowl because of injury. The only injury Tom Brady could possibly have is depression because he was embarrassed by the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens at home. I mean, Brady was certainly healthy enough to cleat Ravens Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed where it matters most. The Pro Bowl is meant to please the fans and players need to understand that. Don’t duck out, just go and show up! Give back to the fans.
WHERE’D THE SKILLS COMPETITION GO? Major League Baseball has the Home Run Derby, the National Basketball Association has the Dunk Contest, and even the National Hockey League has a skills competition. Now why did the NFL take away theirs? The NFL use to have a skills competition and it was a lot of fun to watch. Bringing the skills competition back would be a smart idea for the NFL.
If the NFL would change these three problems they would most likely fix the Pro Bowl and keep it around a lot longer too. How would you fix the Pro Bowl?