“My Pro Bowl Solution”
“My Pro Bowl Solution”
Dear Mr. Goodell,
I’m watching the NFL draft pre-hype show waiting for the pre-show to start and you candidly told Chris Berman that the Pro Bowl wasn’t up to NFL standards and they might very well cancel it if they can’t fix it. There’s serious problems with the Pro Bowl. I think the NFL was on the right track to change when it was played. If the Pro Bowl is the Hall of Fame Game, the NFL can get to the heart of the 3 real problems:
- It doesn’t matter
- It’s a paddy-cake game
- The stars don’t shine
1) Play the game when it has the most appeal to the fans. This is the longest that the fans go before Football comes back. The Hall of Fame game is a yawner that’s played too early. I can’t think of any better inconsequential game to play than this game. Pick one: The Pro Bowl to celebrate the Hall of Fame inductees or Kansas City v Minnesota 1 week into training camp to honor the greats of the game?
2) Play the game before the season when everyone’s ready for a game, and the players are ready for some competition, and hey, some will do it for the trash talk and intimidation factor alone. When you’re about to spend 20 weeks fighting these guys tooth and nail you might approach it differently.
3) After a long season when you’re body has been beaten up, your heart left on the field, and you’re will pushed to the limit, another football game doesn’t sound fun. An elite group of Superstars playing the Only Game in Town and playing hookie from training camp. It sells itself.
There are problems with this new system. Most notably is the players miss an early week of training camp. I think this is a valid point that needs to be addressed straight on. We’re talking %.07 of the players in the league. We’re not talking about the bubble guys and free agents that need the reps. We’re talking the guys who played in the system for at least a full year.
I love the Pro Bowl. The first Pro Bowl I remember distinctly was the 1985 Pro Bowl. I remember Marcus Allen in the AFC uni and the Raiders helmet. I remember Joe Montana. I remember Andre Tippet v Walter Payton 11 months before The Bears finished off The Patriots to become the best team ever. I think we need to save the Pro Bowl.
Make the Hall of Fame Game the Pro Bowl. Votes are handled the same as they are now, but the game is played when we need to see our NFL stars the most. This is my simple and practical proposal to save one of the game’s great traditions, bring more ratings and interest into the Hall of Fame weekend, and kick off the pre-season with an exhibition.