On the eve of yet another Pro Bowl, we must ask ourselves, ‘What’s the point?’ The Pro-Bowl has always been an afterthought for NFL players and fans alike–a fact that has been all too evident over the last few years. But can you blame them? Most of these guys have taken a beating for five months at this point, it’s understandable that they don’t want to march out another Sunday and put the pedal to the metal. And it’s hard for fans to get excited about an exhibition game when the biggest game of the year is only a week away. So what’s the solution? It’s simple. Make an NFL Skills Competition.
Think à la Madden 2003 mini-camp games. Imagine how awesome this could be. All your favorite players hanging out in Hawaii in shorts, shirts and their helmet. Maybe Robert Griffin III and Drew Brees are facing off in the long toss while Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are facing off in a precision passing game. Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch are racing through a running back’s obstacle course. The best cornerbacks and safeties are doing that awesome swat-ball drill that Madden Football used to feature a few years ago. Offensive linemen square off against defensive linemen who are trying to capture a flag before time expires. Wide receivers are catching balls shot out of a pitching machine, or, better yet, teaming up QBs for a little one on one backyard style football. Meanwhile the punters are seeing who can pin a kick closest to the goal line. You get the idea… the possibilities are endless.
Without an actual game going on, camera crews would have unprecedented access to the field, getting you closer to all the stars of the NFL. Plus, Vegas would have a heyday making odds for who was going to win the best hands drill or if Blair Walsh was going to nail a 70 yard field goal. I’m sure it would bring in a lot more bets than the Pro Bowl.
On top of that, the chances of someone getting hurt go way, way down and the chances of all the best players participating goes way up. I can’t imagine anyone would shed a tear over the dear, departed Pro Bowl and it would be a casual, fun atmosphere–not so different than the Home Run Derby, Slam Dunk Contest, or NHL Skills Competition. Imagine Calvin Johnson lines up across from Champ Bailey. Aaron Rodgers draws a route on his chest and self snaps the ball. Tell me you wouldn’t watch that.
Use the comment board to suggest the mini games you’d like to see.
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