We are merely days away from the 2013 pro bowl and let’s be honest, no one cares. I know the NFL is taking a hard look at this year’s Pro Bowl and is going to make a decision about the game moving forward.
As a kid I loved watching the MLB and NBA all star games. It was the athletes at the top of their sport. The best always played every year. I rarely had an interest in the Pro Bowl and that stays true today. I remember great battles in the Home Run Derby and Dunk Contest. While most of your superstar NBA players don’t compete in the dunk contest any more, it’s still a fabulous display of athleticism.
Players use selections to these types of showcases as benchmarks for their career. While players hold out of the NBA and MLB from time to time, it’s not often enough to where undeserving players routinely get in. The Pro Bowl is not that way. With players from the Super Bowl already excused from the game, many more opt out for various reasons; leaving a decent amount of players playing in the game not even remotely deserving to be out there.
Then the game itself is an absolute joke. The players don’t take it serious, while some are going full speed others are going half and seem disinterested in the game itself. Football is not a sport where you can throw a bunch of guys out there with no experience playing together and expect something beautiful.
As a kid I loved watching the skills competition at the Pro Bowl. I feel like this is what the NFL needs to market. Do away with the game completely. You can still have Pro Bowl teams, but they don’t have to actually play. Look at college, being named an All-American is a big deal, despite not showcasing it on the field.
I would love to see the NFL take a combine approach to the Pro Bowl. I could care less about who the better conference is on the field. That is more than evident throughout the regular season. I would however love seeing a competition of the NFL’s fastest man or hardest thrower. Bring in the sports science approach and see which player hits a tackling dummy with the most force. What player has the best bench or squat.
I also would prefer to see these events take place in Hawaii. Of the numerous people I have known through the military that have experienced these events first hand, they loved them. Being unable to attend any pro sporting event all year was hard for them. Then the NFL would come their way. And it’s a lot more than just playing in a game. They are very accessible to everyone there. You’d run into superstars at your favorite taco stands or beach areas.
The pro bowl is broken and the best way to fix it is to get rid of it. You can still have pro bowl events, but there is no reason to play the game anymore. Bring all the nominees to Hawaii for a 4 day event where they can spar against each other in friendly competition where the threat of major injury is much less likely. Players can still be proud of their accomplishments by being named to these teams. It’s just the third or fourth option better get used to not adding a pro bowl nomination to his resume.