Pro Bowl 2012: 5 Things the NFL's All-Star Game Confirmed
1. This is the worst all-star game in sports.
A few years ago, when Bud Selig called the MLB All-Star game with the score tied, there wouldn't have been much of an argument about which sport had the worst all-star game.
That's not the case anymore.
After Sunday's Pro Bowl, you could make a pretty solid case that the NFL's version is hands down, the worst. For football purists to casual fans, the game is nearly unwatchable.
2. It isn't football.
Sure, they played with the same oblong ball, they wear jerseys and helmets and score six points for a touchdown. But the Pro Bowl isn't football. It's 7-on-7 with no effort and every single player trying not to get hurt.
That formula works in basketball, where dunks and alley oops can make up for the lack of defense. Not in Hawaii. Football is meant to be played with full effort, and you don't get that in the Pro Bowl. The end product is an ugly showcase for the country's favorite sport.
3. It's a poorly run event.
It's hard to believe that such a well-run league would let a money-grabbing opportunity like the Pro Bowl slip through its fingers. Look at how the NHL and NBA run their all-star games. It's a weekend event. Why can't the NFL do something similar? Give us some skills contests.
You can't tell me something like the 40-yard dash to crown the game's fastest player wouldn't generate some interest. The NFL doesn't have anything that could compete with the Slam Dunk Contest in the NBA, but the dash could be close.
And when it's all said and done, the all-star game is just the end piece to an entire weekend of events. Maybe the Pro Bowl would be more palatable if there was more to it.
4. The voting needs fixing.
There was a time when being voted to the Pro Bowl was a prestigious accomplishment in the NFL. Hall of Fame voters would actually consider how many trips a player took to Hawaii when making a decision on Player X.
Not anymore. It means very little now because the voting to get players in is so flawed. Even causal fans could have pointed to at least five players who didn't deserve to be there this season.
And while I understand why the NFL wants to include fans, they are some of the least informed people to contribute an accurate vote. Let a panel of NFL media and former coaches/players make the decision. That way, the right players get in. Until that happens, the Pro Bowl will remain a sham.
5. There's trouble in Hawaiian paradise.
The tradition of the Pro Bowl being in Hawaii is nice, but it doesn't make much sense overall. Why not have it in the Super Bowl city like they tried in Miami? The Super Bowl is such a huge event that it could handle hosting the Pro Bowl with it.
If that were the case, more fans who actually want to see their all-stars can make the trip. And it's not like Hawaii is selling out the Pro Bowl. At the start of Sunday's game, you could see hundreds, if not thousands of open seats. It's a joke that Hawaii gets to keep it.
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