The Pro Bowl. The worst all-star game of major professional sports.
In case you don’t know, the Pro Bowl is the National Football League’s all-star game which features the best players not participating in the Super Bowl playing for their conference. It is usually as exciting as watching kittens play football.
The NFL has had a problem with what to do with their Pro Bowl game.
The first official Pro Bowl was played in January 1951, three weeks after the 1950 NFL Championship Game (between 1939 and 1942, the NFL experimented with all-star games pitting the league’s champion against a team of all-stars). Between 1970 and 2009, the Pro Bowl was usually held the weekend after the Super Bowl. Since 2010, it has been played the weekend before the Super Bowl. Players from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl do not participate. Between 1980 and 2016, the game was played at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii except for two years (2010 and 2015). On June 1, 2016, the NFL announced that they reached a multi-year deal to move the game to Orlando, Florida as part of the league’s ongoing efforts to make the game more relevant.
More relevant? Now that’s funny.
The advantage for the players is that they will get an additional $74,000 for winning the game and $37,000 if they suffer the embarrassment of losing the game.
In the first Pro Bowl played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1951, the American Conference defeated the National Conference 28-27. Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Otto Graham was the game’s most valuable player.
Since the AFC-NFC merger, the AFC leads the series 24-22.
Again, who cares?
Well the NFL tried to change it up from 2013-2015 when they scrambled it up with former players picking their teams. That was a mess. We cared less about Team Rice beating Team Sanders or any other teams.
So what can be done about the Pro Bowl. I have a few ideas of my own:
#1 – Don’t play the Pro Bowl. It’s the worst all-star game so just end it already. Put it out of its misery.
#2 – Bring back the “Playoff Bowl”. The Playoff Bowl was a game played from 1960-1969 between the teams they lost in the playoffs before the Championship or Super Bowl. Some called it the losers bowl and hated it. I think it might be a good option and make it where the proceeds from the game is donated to a charity or disaster relief needed at the time. For instance, this year this would be the Green Bay Packers playing Tennessee Titans. Hey, it’s better than the Pro Bowl.
#3 – NFL vs. College All-Stars. Put the best of the NFL against the best players from college football. This is probably not going to happen since college players don’t want to risk injury and their chance of playing in the NFL.
#4 – College Bowl. Schedule college football’s national championship game to be played the week before the Super Bowl. They are almost playing it this late now. Call it the “college bowl”.
#5 – NFL skills competition. Instead of playing a game. Have the players face-off in a skills competition. It’s got to be better than playing flag football.
#6 – NFL vs. CFL. Now this is an idea I like which would be the most competitive. Have the NFL stars play stars from the Canadian Football League and alternate which league hosts the game so that NFL players would be forced to play by CFL rules which would be pretty interesting. This might also help the CFL too.
For now, we have the game being played this weekend at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The AFC will be coached by Jim Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) and the NFC will be led by Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks).