The NFL tries to make the Pro Bowl relevant againWritten by Josh Hoffert (@WhatTheHOFF)
In case you have been sitting around thinking “I can’t wait until the NFL Pro Bowl”, you may be surprised to find out that the format of the game has changed. Chances are though, that you haven’t thought about the lackluster game since half time of last year’s Pro Bowl. The reason for referencing halftime is because that is likely when you turned it off.
The chances are, you are not looking forward to a game in which no defense is played, the score is run up, and offense is tossing the ball around like I used to when I played my neighbors in back yard football. I’m not here to promote the Pro Bowl in any way. I am simply here to raise the question: what is the reason for the lack of interest in the Pro Bowl?
Let me explain the new rules of the game. Kickoffs are going to be completely eliminated from the game, which in fact means two roster spots are removed as a result. This doesn’t bode well with Devin Hester, Chicago’s return specialist:
“If you are taking the returner out of the Pro Bowl, you’re taking two positions out. That will suck for me. They are trying to change up the whole game of football and they’re messing with people’s jobs and lives.”
Those are some pretty strong words. You have to think about just how valid his argument is. Many players are likely to have contractual clauses in which they receive bonuses for being voted to the Pro Bowl.
Another change is the shortened game clock. This will be used, I’m guessing, to speed up the game and leave fans with less down time between plays.
The most drastic change, however, is the addition of two team captains. The captains for this year are said to be Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice. Each captain will choose their team’s players, regardless of conference. This should stir things up a bit.
If you ask me, this game has the features of a game that should be great, but always ends up disappointing me. Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t, and likely never will see players performing at full potential. Let’s be real, it is probably even worse than a preseason game. The guys have already earned their spots and are going to get paid regardless.
Either way, this seems like one of the NFL’s last-ditch efforts to salvage the Pro Bowl. I honestly don’t even know if they can at this point. Players are simply getting paid too much to risk their livelihoods on a game that is mostly designed for the fan’s entertainment.
What do you think? Will you be more inclined to watch the Pro Bowl under the new rules? Comment below.