Roger Goodell has been toying with the idea of getting rid of the Pro Bowl all together. Fans don’t like it, they players don’t try and it just is more of a Hawaiian vacation than a game. Goodell has previously tried all sorts of things to encourage interest in the game.
He’s tried moving it to another city, he tried moving it to the week before the Super Bowl, he moved it back to Hawaii.
Peyton Manning famously gave a speech yesterday encouraging players to try their hardest to win. But the players are hesitant, in a meaningless game, to give their usual effort in large part due to the risk of injury. An injury could effect their career and essentially a players wallet.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster recently spoke out (on the NFL Network, via Pro Football Talk) about his feelings towards Goodell and the Pro Bowl.
“I see both sides of the coin, I really do,” Foster said. “But in all honesty, with all due respect, Mr. Goodell? He’s not out here taking these hits.”
“The fans want a competitive game, but here you have players that have had 16-plus games, an entire season. Our bodies have worn down. This isn’t basketball. You can’t go play pickup football,” Foster said. “It’s a tough situation for both sides. I think it’s a good revenue attraction for the state of Hawaii. It brings a lot of revenue, brings a lot of tourism here, so you don’t want to see it go. And it’s a tradition for the NFL. So hopefully we get it figured out.”
Personally I think the NFL needs to stop making the Pro Bowl something more than it is, an actually competitive football game. It’s a celebration of sorts and should be. Make skills games the highlights of the Pro Bowl weekend. We’ve seen the “tricks” players do in the NFL’s “Pick Me” Fantasy Football commercial campaign. They could continue something along those lines?
Or just make it a flag football game? Heck, divide the players into more than 2 teams and make it a flag football tournament?
Just don’t put lipstick on a pig here and tell the fans this is a serious football game.
What would you like to see them do with the NFL Pro Bowl? Let us know in the comments below!