Friday, January 27, 2012

We gonna ride this business model until it completely dies....

This coming weekend is the annual NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Yeah, they still play it. I watch about 2 plays every 4 years.  Here's my problem with the Pro Bowl. Well, I got a few actually:
- The best players aren't there.  Years ago, the Pro Bowl was played the week after the Superbowl and included everyone chosen. Given the 2 weeks between the season and the Superbowl, the Pro Bowl was almost played in March. That's a lonnnnnnnnnnnng season.  Not to mention pretty anti-climactic after the Superbowl. So, someone had the bright idea to play it BEFORE the Superbowl.  Here's the problem, football is a contact sport. So the two teams in the Superbowl (the two BEST teams in the league) don't send anyone because the last thing a coach wants is his starting QB hurt in the Pro Bowl and missing the Superbowl. And you can't blame him one bit. So the Superbowl teams don't send anyone, and the alternates now get to go to the Pro Bowl.

- Nobody plays hard.  In 1998 Robert Edwards tore his knee up in THE ROOKIE FLAG FOOTBALL GAME ON THE BEACH at the Pro Bowl.  He was able to return a few years later, but you have to wonder how much shorter his career was due to that injury. If you watch the game now, linemen aren't really blocking, more likely they grab each other and stand up. And you can't blame them one bit.  Yes, there is a lot of prestige associated with going to the Pro Bowl, but it's still the Pro Bowl and if you are going to get hurt in a game, better it be during the season when it counts than in the Pro Bowl when it doesn't.

If you ask the organizers of the Pro Bowl, they'll point to the record rating that the game still gets. They will probably ask "why can't we have an All Star Game?  Every other sport has one."  I repeat, football is a contact sport.  Ratings aside, I think it's kinda boring.  I think it would liven things up to have a skills competition for the linemen ala "The Superstars", and the backs & receivers can go against the defensive backs in a passing competition.  When you minimize the potential for injury, players will embrace the game.
Now I think it's more a "just don't get hurt" game.

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