Major League Baseball holds the award for best All-Star Game, and
weekend for that matter, by a landslide. The Home Run Derby is one of
the most anticipated skills event of the year while the All Star Game
hold extreme importance to whomever seeks home field advantage in the
World Series. Second in line is NBA All Star Weekend, complete with
Skills Challenge, 3-Point Contest, Dunk Contest and All Star Game (I
purposely left out the Celebrity game for both baseball and
basketball; ain’t nobody got time for that). Though the Dunk Contest
has gotten some flack over the years for lack of excitement and talent
in contestants, it still brings a level of excitement unique to
itself. Third on the list is the NHL All Star Weekend, but I can’t
name you any of the events because I carry on living my life instead
of watching hockey. Which brings us to last place: the Pro Bowl.
You’re probably wondering why I’m giving the Pro Bowl such a bad rap.
I mean, what could possibly so bad about a game that has ratings
comparable to that of some World Series games? I’ll tell you why.
Because it goes against everything the game of football stands for.
The game of football is so ferocious that the NFL’s only major concern
is to try and make it safer. As for the fans? Most resemble
characteristics of our early caveman ancestors. Bloodthirtsy.
Ravenous. Die-hard. Illiterate. Regardless, in the NFL it’s a
kill-or-be-killed mentality, and if you don’t like, go play golf. Or
wait to play in the Pro Bowl.
You would think the Pro Bowl would be a highly competitive affair
where star players would be happy to show off their talents and
opponents’ pride and dignity would get in the way of letting that
happen (you may not know this or not, but there are actually defensive
players at the Pro Bowl). Instead, you’ll find more competition at a
pee-wee football game from both the players, and unfortunately the
fans. The season is over for the players and they get no compensation
for being at the game aside from being allowed to tweet from the
sidelines. They might as well skip playing the game altogether and
hold a cocktail party on the field instead. I don’t know about you but
I’d much rather see Aaron Rodgers ‘discount double check’ while drunk
and John Madden break the work record for eating the most hors
d’oeuvres in three hours.
So, how in the hell do we fix this travesty being passed off as a
football game? Well for starters, give the players a reason to be
there, whether it’s something monetary or an award to the winner. Much
like in baseball, make the winning conference get to pick a team from
that conference to hold the Super Bowl that year or having the team
from that conference win the coin toss at the Super Bowl. The NFL
could also add a skills challenge much like the NBA and similar to the
combine or other skills challenges. Or, just nix the game altogether
and have the damn cocktail party, but also make it an awards ceremony
like the ESPYs and give out season awards.
Whatever the NFL may decide, decide they must, and quickly. It’s bad
enough that the game falls at the incredibly awkward time before the
most important game of the year, why make it worse than watching an
electric football game in the 1960s? Now that the bounty scandal is
finally in the backburner, hopefully the NFL can concentrate on fixing
the Pro Bowl for the next couple years (before they get bombarded with
concussion lawsuits), and can make it into a game that both the
players and the fans can thoroughly enjoy.
Written by: John Lund