With the Pro Bowl already having trouble mustering up viewers, the NFL game isn't likely to gain viewership with the likes of the league's best tight ends not making the trip to Hawaii.
On Saturday we learned New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham would miss out on the Pro Bowl action after undergoing surgery on his wrist (via Mike Triplett of Nola.com).
Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez withdrew due to injury (h/t ESPN) while Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots will miss the 2013 Pro Bowl following surgery on his broken forearm (via Marc Sessler of NFL.com).
For a game that has been waning in recent years, not having three of the most-recognized offensive stars on the field certainly won't help attract viewers.
The players don't even take the Pro Bowl seriously, so how can they expect the fans to?
Peep this Tweet from CBS Denver's Vic Lombardi:
This is my 5th Pro Bowl in which I will not bother to attend nor watch the Pro Bowl. Let me know if somebody makes a tackle.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) January 27, 2013
With Graham, Gonzalez and Gronk not playing, it means the NFL won't have three of its top-seven tight ends (in terms of receiving yards) at its disposal in Hawaii.
The absence of star power with Gronkowski out is enough in itself to have the NFL worry about its dying event, but Graham has really developed into an elite star in the NFL and Gonzalez is easily a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
And these are just tight ends we're talking about here.
Even if we could turn back the clock and put every Hall of Famer on the field in their prime, this game would still be a bust.
The lack of star power at tight end only adds to the demise of the 2013 Pro Bowl.
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