3rd & 10: Was That the Last Pro Bowl?
I wasn’t going to write about the Pro Bowl. I bet you didn’t even watch it. However, it’s football and I’m not ready to discuss a Super Bowl breakdown just yet. This Pro Bowl might be special anyways; it might be the last one. The NFL will decide if another Pro Bowl will be played next season in April of this year when the regular season schedule is released.
Fans do not get overly excited about the game. Why would they when there isn’t a real competitive feel to it? Last year fans actually booed the game, as it was clear that the linemen were not even trying. If you remember correctly Jared Allen did a ninja roll to switch spots with a teammate. Which is why J.J. Watt held up a bloody finger to the cameras on the sideline to say “hey Commish, we’re playing hard!”
Was this year any better?
Well, it started off interestingly enough. We lost Trent Williams to a champagne bottle beating and a good old-fashioned tasering by the police. There was actually a small fan brawl in the stands. The game though was, well, normal Pro Bowl play. First off, the NFC gave the AFC a 62-35 beating. The lopsided score does little to prove that both sides were competing with all their heart. There were also those little moments of fun for the players that just seem silly in a pro game. There was J.J. Watt lining up as a receiver to end up with the ball at his feet. Or Jeff Saturday switching sides to receive one last snap from Peyton Manning. Once Ed Hochuli joked that there were even penalties in the Pro Bowl the ship had sunk.
There are also the players that don’t show up and lead to those lesser in talent taking their place. Players like Marcel Reece who didn’t score a single touchdown in regular season were on the field. But how do you get Tom Brady to show up if even a large lump sum of money doesn’t work?
The players of course love it because they get one last fat paycheck. They are defending the Bowl saying that it allows those ace players who didn’t make the Super Bowl to play one last time for the season.
If we aren’t seeing all of the best players, the ones that are there are not giving it their all and fans aren’t going gangbusters over the prospect of watching it — why keep it?