Amidst the 2-week Super Bowl hype, Rookies, did you know that there’s another NFL football game on this weekend? No? That’s because it is a dumb idea. Yay! It’s the Pro-Bowl!
What is it?
The Pro-Bowl is to football what the All-Star Game is to baseball. The very best players in the league in each position gather in Hawaii to play an ultimate game of football.
Why is that dumb?
So, so many reasons.
1. It makes football an individual sport. Honoring one player on the field for success discounts his reliance on the players around him. Teammates facilitate one another’s successes.
Peyton Manning may be a great QB, but if his line isn’t up to par, he’s sacked and picked like anyone.
Pro-Bowlers may have never even played together before.
2. We can see this line-up on Madden. There was a time, or so I’ve been told, before the PlayStation and XBox. A time when video game graphics didn’t realistically depict sports at all.
The future is here. I can fully assemble any team I want to create, and participate in a highly realistic game of my favorite players – without commercials.
The real thing is not that big of a deal.
3. The players don’t even want to play. Football is dangerous, and guys don’t want to risk their bodies for a game that doesn’t even count. I don’t blame them.
As a result, many players choose not to participate. Suddenly, we have back ups to the back ups in the line ups. Should we really say “who?” at the Pro-Bowl?
4. The very best players can’t even go. If someone is playing in the Super Bowl, he can’t go to the Pro-Bowl. That means the year’s two best teams (with arguably the best players) won’t be there. That doesn’t seem very “Pro.”
5. It’s only for the $$$. You knew this was coming. The NFL is a kajillion dollar business (if my numbers are accurate). From late August to mid-January, the NFL airs games every weekend. Without the Pro-Bowl, there’d be a weekend empty between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl – and we can’t have that *eyeroll*.
My Solutions (you’re welcome)
1. Take off the helmets, and make it flag football. It may sound silly, but the biggest reason it’s fun to watch these guys is that they’re out of context, and just playing for fun. This way, we can see their faces as they play around like little kids.
And, flag football eliminates the injury risk. More big-name guys would agree to it, making it higher-profile over-all.
2. Invite celebrities to join in. I want to see Laila Ali in Left Tackle and Hope Solo as Strong Safety. And you know Snoop Dogg would play! This would make it even more fun for the athletes to play, and increase the fan base as non-sports fans tune in to see their fave celeb on a new context as well.
3. Mic ’em up. I want to hear everything. I want to hear how they call plays, how they banter, and how they hit on Erin Andrews (she’s playing Center, I think). It will be educational and hilarious!
4. Move it to the week after the Super Bowl. I know, I know … what about the empty weekend? I don’t care. Do like the sit-coms do and make the best.clip.show.ever.
The point is, it should feel like a celebration for, and by, the players. It makes no sense to not have the champions involved. Let them have their victory lap amongst their peers.
5. Do it for charity. Frankly, everyone knows that the NFL does this Bowl for the money. The last thing the league needs is another smear against its image. Have the players choose charities for which to play -NFC v AFC. The winning charity gets a million dollars – which is basically what they made off of Marshawn Lynch fines this season.
Aloha nui loa, Rookies! And best of luck to the Pro-Bowl-ers this weekend – whomever they are!