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5. Change the Pro Bowl to a flag football game
It seems as though the biggest concern for players is injuries. No one wants to get hurt in a game that doesn't really mean anything, and changing the Pro Bowl completely so it is a flag football game may be a viable solution. While it may take away the last bit of competitiveness that there is in the Pro Bowl, it would still highlight the offenses and make it a safer event for players. Plus, they may be able to add in a couple legends here and there. Wouldn't it be fun to see Aaron Rodgers throw a touchdown to Jerry Rice? It would bring more attention to the game and would also bring back some of the fun for the fans.
4. Increase the payout for the winning team
This may seem more or less like a bribe, but why not? Let's say they increased the winner's game check to $100,000 and decreased the loser's check to $15,000. That may incite more of a spark from the players, thus leading to a more competitive game to watch. The whole reason behind the Pro Bowl isn't so much for the honor that comes with being selected as much as it is for the fans watching. By increasing the game check for the winners and decreasing the check for the losers, it may help bring back the competitiveness that used to be so prevalent in the Pro Bowl.
3. Fine players for not attending
As I mentioned earlier, some players choose not to attend the Pro Bowl for various reasons, and while it may not make a difference, enforcing a fine for the players who choose not to play may bandage that problem. This game is for the fans, and the fans want to see who they voted for in the Pro Bowl. If their guy simply chooses not to play, then that makes the game slightly less enjoyable for whomever voted for him. While players get fined all the time and it barely makes a dent in their bank account, the message behind the fine is the most important thing. The Pro Bowl is just as much a reward for the fans as it is for the players, and if the fans want a certain guy to play then he should play—no questions asked.
2. Change the date and time
Personally, I hated when they moved the Pro Bowl to before the Super Bowl. If they pushed the Pro Bowl back to either the week after the Super Bowl or sometime after that, then the game would regain some of its popularity. By pushing it back to after the Super Bowl, all of the players partaking in the championship game that were also voted to the Pro Bowl would be able to play in both games. Also, if they decided to push the game even further into the spring or even summer, it may create some buzz for the Hall of Fame game that takes place each August.
1. Add in a skills challenge throughout the week
While it wouldn't directly affect the game, adding in a skills challenge would certainly bring more attention to the Pro Bowl in the week leading up to it. It would include challenges such as the 40 yard dash, bench press, quarterback distance/accuracy competition, punt/pass/kick competition and a distance kicking competition. Challenges like these would not only be fun for the players, but would also be fun for the fans watching. It would determine the league's strongest and fastest players, and would create more buzz leading up to the actual game.
While these are simply just some suggestions, it is clear that the NFL needs to do something about the Pro Bowl.