The Pro Bowl is a waste of time.
That’s not a secret, and it shouldn’t be considered blasphemous, as there are far more productive things you could do with those three hours of your life in late January every year. For example, you could tape straws together and see how many it takes to reach the end of your driveway.
I’m paid to watch, absorb, dissect, and generally live a life that consists of little more than football for all but a few months of the year (miss you, May and June), and I haven’t watched the Pro Bowl in years. It’s not only the worst event on the NFL’s calendar, it may be the worst event on the entire North American sports calender this side of baseball’s home run derby.
But yet for some incomprehensible reason, far too many of you can’t resist the NFL’s mystical spell, and you sit and watch flag football. Although the game’s ratings took a sizable gut punch this year and dropped 8.1 percent, it’s still remarkable that such a poor product was able to hold the attention of 12.5 million people.
The NFL is a league that’s mastered the fine art of making money by doing very little. It’s the same league that sold tickets to the Super Bowl’s media day shortly after the Pro Bowl, and fans actually paid to watch football players mingle and give clichéd answers to clichéd questions. But even Roger Goodell’s passion for whoring (no, not that kind) has its limits, and if the product being produced is damaging the league’s image, something has to be done.
Thankfully, we’ve reached that point with the Pro Bowl, and the madness may end soon. After this year’s game Aaron Rodgers was openly critical of the effort given by his peers, it was clear that drastic changes are needed, and the game may be on life support.
The NFL and union are in negotiations that could possibly kill the concept of the Pro Bowl game, multiuple sources confirmed.
Both league and union officials say privately that while this year’s game might still be played, it’s highly unlikely the concept would last beyond that. The story was first reported by ESPN.
“We have been in discussions with the union about the future of the Pro Bowl,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail. “No determination has been made yet about this season’s game.”
The concept of the all-star game is beginning to become obsolete throughout all of sports, but it’s especially useless in the NFL. One of the primary purposes of the game is to have one platform to showcase the league’s greatest stars to cultivate more fan interest and, most importantly, more advertising. But a handful of those stars always sit out due to either their participation in the Super Bowl, or more commonly lame injury excuses involving bones and muscles that may or may not exist.
The game has outlived it’s useful life, and the fact that millions of people still watch is irrelevant. I could watch my dog chase its tail for hours, but it’d be horrible television.
Actually, I’d watch that over the Pro Bowl.
And now you want to know the rest of the story…
- For Eagles fans it shouldn’t be remotely surprising that Asante Samuel is gone. The only surprise is that somehow it took this long to complete a deal. [Philadelphia Daily News]
- “Asante Samuel was a fraud, wrapped in a mirage, inside an illusion”…umm yeah, it really doesn’t look like Samuel is going to be missed much in Philly. [Marcus Hayes]
- Why an offensive lineman makes sense for the Eagles tonight. [Paul Domowitch]
- Kendall Wright is trying to tune out all the draft speculation. Good luck with that, kid. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Michael Brockers is really hoping that the hype continues to build around Mark Barron and he escapes the Cowboys’ reach, because he’d really like to be paid to play football in Dallas. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- Ryan Grigson came from an Eagles front office that wasn’t afraid to make bold first-round moves. So if the opportunity presents itself the new Colts general manager could put together a deal involving Indy’s 34th overall pick early in the second round. [Indianapolis Star]
- An open letter to Bears GM Phil Emery on draft day. [Bear Goggles On]
- C’mon on now, let’s not keep going all Helen Lovejoy over Bountygate. Sure, the misery in new Orleans has been a giant brown stain on this offseason, but the moment the draft starts tonight, no one will care about the bounty mess or Mickey Loomis’ alleged microphone obsession until Sunday. [Tim Dahlberg]
- What really happens in the Packers draft room. [Total Packers]