5 Reasons Why the Pro Bowl Will Continue to be a Joke
2014 Pro Bowl Will Only Continue Tradition of Laughingstock Game
It seems that with every passing year there is a huge discussion in the football world about whether or not the Pro Bowl is a game worth having or if it should be modified, and every year the same answer comes back. The verdict is always that the game is simply a joke and something that truly cannot be modified to be made better or this probably would have happened between the time the first NFL All-Star Game was held in 1939 and now.
In fact, the Pro Bowl does not only seem to get worse with every passing year; it appears that Roger Goodell and the NFL seemingly sit in their offices and think about how to make the game more miserable. Of course simply making a statement like this about a game that surely brings millions of dollars into the coffers of owners and the NFL as a whole would not be justifiable, so I have decided to back it up with a list of five reasons that the Pro Bowl is and will always be a joke.
These reasons are surely only the tip of the iceberg for why fans, players and the media alike have general disdain towards the game, but in my mind they are the most significant. Feel free to provide feedback as to whether or not you agree with my assessments and also give additional thoughts on other reasons why the 2014 Pro Bowl will continue on the poor tradition of the game as a whole.
5. The Pro Bowl Is Held Before the Super Bowl
One of the ideas Goodell came up with in regards to the Pro Bowl was to move the game to the week prior to the Super Bowl starting in 2010. Of course this did nothing to spice up the game, and in fact it actually made the product worse as the team's participating in the Super Bowl would not be sending their players to a game that is supposed to be a showcase of the best of the best. Just in the 2014 incarnation of the event alone, this will keep star players such as Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman and Julius Thomas from participating.
4. Hawaii Has No Connection With the NFL
I get that the Pro Bowl has been held in Hawaii since 1979 -- except for 2009 -- but this doesn't mean it should be. There is a reason that the state does not have a professional team, and having the Pro Bowl in Honolulu only takes away from any serious nature it may want to have. Additionally, the game has not even hit the 50,000 capacity seating the Aloha Stadium has since 2007. Moving it to the city of the Super Bowl would immediately take away any sellout issues and would also help make the game a celebration of football for the cities hosting each game.
3. The Pro Bowl Draft Is a Slap in the Face to Fans
It is certainly true that Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice are legends of the football world, but that does not mean they should push the Pro Bowl Draft on fans. It is utterly apparent that involving the two was simply a publicity stunt aimed at making money for the NFL, and it really did not do that. The 2014 Pro Bowl Draft that the two participated in was clearly nothing more than preconceived television spread over two nights, and it wasn't even entertaining. Sporting fans may love football, but they are not dumb.
2. Many of the Available Players Skip the Game
There have been 17 players not playing in the Super Bowl who have decided not to not participate in the 2014 Pro Bowl, including the likes of Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson and Patrick Willis. This is not a new trend, either, as 17 players originally selected in 2013 and 16 in 2012 decided not to participate in the Pro Bowl. If the players don't even want to get a free trip to Hawaii, why should everyone else be convinced the Pro Bowl is a game worth having?
1. The On-Field Product Is Awful
Football is a sport that has to be played at 100 percent to be entertaining, but players in the Pro Bowl rarely give north of 50 percent effort. The game is a glorified seven-on-seven drill, and point totals of 96, 100 and 97 over the last three years do nothing to dispel this thought. Simply put, watching players on each team pass up on tackles, walk around the field and generally treat the game like a joke only shows fans and the media that it is exactly that.