January 27, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; AFC tight end Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals (84) runs past NFC outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan of the Washington Redskins (91) in the fourth quarter during the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. The NFC defeated the AFC 62-35. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Pro Bowl: Less competitive than ever?

This weekend we have the opportunity to watch four great teams compete in the NFL Conference Championship games.  The weekend after we get the annual NFL Pro Bowl. It’s no secret that the Pro Bowl has long been a snoozefest for the viewing audience. The NFL, knowing their all-star game was lackluster, tried to spice things up, though.

This year is the first time that Pro Bowl will be unconferenced, meaning players from the same teams can end up competing with one another. AFC and NFC teams are a thing of the past.One team will be drafted by Jerry Rice, while the other team will be drafted by Deion Sanders.  At first glance, the idea seems great. Who wouldn’t want to see their favorite running back hurdle over their favorite linebacker?

But wait, hold up a second, doesn’t that mean that a defensive player might have to tackle or hit their franchise quarterback or running back? You can’t honestly tell me that Greg Hardy is going to blast Cam Newton in an exhibition game or that Tamba Hali would make more than a small effort to tackle Jamaal Charles.

I like the idea of the “real life fantasy draft” that the NFL is trying to coin, but I just don’t see it making the game any more exciting or competitive than it was in the past. I understand that it’s extremely difficult to keep a completely meaningless game relevant, but this certainly isn’t the way to go about it.

Will the NFL be able to create new, original programming from the event? Absolutely. Will the game itself become more entertaining? I don’t think so.

It has long been rumored that the NFL will eventually eliminate the Pro Bowl. At this point, I think it’s the best option.


Tags: Deion Sanders Jerry Rice NFL Pro Bowl

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