A Pro-Bowl Caliber Debate

The SportmeistersAnalyst IFebruary 5, 2009

Sportmeister Derek: Well Ryan, we meet again for another discussion.

Sportmeister Ryan: Yes Derek, and it looks like this one involves the NFL Pro Bowl. So what’s on your mind?

Derek: Well, it has been announced that, next year NFL Pro Bowl will be moved from Hawaii to Miami, FL and will be played the week before the Super Bowl. I think that is the dumbest idea ever in the NFL.

Ryan: Not much of an argument here, but it seems like the NFL is looking for a way to make it more exciting and watchable, not to mention the current contract expires, and for now new negotiations aren’t finalized. But is moving it really that bad?

Derek: Yes, on both accounts! Let’s start with the date. Right now, the Pro Bowl sits a week after the Super Bowl, so it allows all players that were invited the option to attend. If you move it the week prior to the Super Bowl, you lose two teams worth of participants, as no one playing in the Super Bowl would risk injury.

Ryan: But Derek, teams already playing in the Super Bowl, and especially the winning one, have so much celebration and publicity that they won’t participate in the glorified exhibition anyways.

Derek: Yeah, but right now you’re breaking up the little break that the players get with their families following a long season. Don’t forget, you’re starting in mini-camp in May, and it’s pretty much football time until December or January. This is the opportune time for these players to rest, relax, and enjoy themselves with their families.

Ryan: Ok, so we keep the date, and let these players get the extra rest time, and offer everyone who was selected the chance to play. What’s the issue with moving it to Miami, where it will be next season

Derek: Well, like Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis said, “That’s no vacation. That’s what we regularly do.” Most players will have spent some time in Miami at some point. Some guys live there, others will play for the Dolphins or against the Dolphins. Either way, it’s not a vacation spot like where Hawaii is.

Ryan: I can see your point, the players and families stay on a secluded hotel, practice a little, then get time to enjoy the island with their significant others and their friends and teammates. It’s a once a year opportunity for some.

Derek: It’s a special week for these players, they deserve the right for the lavish reward of a week-long Hawaiian vacation. Commissioner Roger Goodell can come up with other ways to make the “anticlimactic” end to football more mainstream and gain a bigger viewership base.

Ryan: After dealing with you, I need a vacation. But ok, so let me take a moment and throw an argument out here. Why do we select Pro Bowl players with time left in the season? Pro Bowl rosters are announced with two or three weeks left in the regular season.

What’s the matter with waiting until the end of the season and calling them actual Pro Bowlers? Is there really something wrong with holding out until the end of the season?

Derek: Yeah, so many players get snubbed from the game and you have to wonder what the benefit is by not waiting a few more weeks, giving players a little more time to earn their spots.

Ryan: Maybe once we know where it’s being played, the NFL can make some adjustments on who’s playing. For now, let’s enjoy the last of the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii.