What Does the Future Hold for the NFL's Pro Bowl?
The NFL Pro Bowl has gotten so bad, fans almost have to watch.
Well, not really.
Actually, that's true to a certain degree—Twitter was buzzing with negativity as the game approached on Sunday evening, and a rash of mockery continued at least into the middle of the second quarter.
The game featured Jeff Saturday switching teams for a play, seven turnovers, a 1.4 yards-per-carry average from the AFC, a Jason Pierre-Paul interception on an Andrew Luck throw intended for J.J. Watt and a record-setting 62 points by the NFC in victory.
Oh, and plenty of players moving at half-speed.
By now, fans have grown tired of the NFL's attempt at an entertaining exhibition.
With player safety being the league's top priority and the overwhelming majority of the participants rightfully doing whatever they can do avoid even the slightest muscle tweak, what does the future hold for the NFL's All-Star game?
Per ProFootballTalk.com, Tony Dungy sprinkled in some insight regarding player's desire during the Pro Bowl:
ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 28, 2013
According to the USA Today, the game's overnight TV ratings fell 8.1 percent from last year. That's not a good sign for future viability.
However, it's important to realize that even with the dip, the NFL remains king in America.
The NFL Pro Bowl had better ratings this year than the World Series did. A fake game did better than the MLB's championship #wow— Kevin Bishop (@KevinBishop84) January 28, 2013
Almost seems impossible, doesn't it?
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey delved into the problems with the game and explained why the NFL should fix it in a recent column.
His suggestion centers around a true exhibition—linemen in shorts and an NBA-style all-star skills competition.
That, or just simply doing away with the Pro Bowl itself.
Frankly, his proposal is quite popular.
During a live "ask me anything" chat on Reddit Monday afternoon, commissioner Roger Goodell had this to say:
Commissioner Goodell thought the quality of the Pro Bowl was better this year. Do you agree? Why/Why not?— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) January 28, 2013
However, that's beyond the point.
The ratings weren't as good as the 2012 Pro Bowl—everyone knows the game is a total farce.
Should the NFL replace the Pro Bowl with a skills competition?
Unless something is drastically changed, ratings will sink every year.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com wrote that "one source involved in the decision-making process said the quality of play was "much-improved over last year," but also indicated that does not mean it will continue.
The NFL, like any business, will make the necessary changes to maximize its profits.
If the players and, most importantly, the fans want a skills competition, that's what the league will ultimately do.
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