Exploring a NEW NFL Theory: A Senior-Bowl/Pro-Bowl Hybrid?

michael wongCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

Chicago Bears Brendon Ayambadejo during the NFL Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 10, 2007  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Two different games, the Under Armour-sponsored Senior-Bowl and the NFL Pro-Bowl.

Two completely different reasons for having the game, but in terms of winning or losing, both are absolutely meaningless in regards to winner of the game. 

Except perhaps to earn some extra cash. The champions of the NFL Pro-Bowl win double the bonus cash that the losing team does, while the people who perform well in the Senior-Bowl get better rookie contracts.

More money.

Other then that, the two games have two very different reasons for being played.

One is just as an honor for outstanding play throughout the regular season, a vacation for the best of the best NFL players of the season.

The other is basically played just so that NFL scouts and management-types can review, examine and further analyze potential draft prospects from around the country.

So I thought about it for a long while, forgot about it, thought about it again and finally today I'm deciding to write about an idea that I've had for a long, long while.

Why don't we combine the two games, or at least create a game that would have had virtues of both.

Here is what I propose:

In the past, the long distant past, there was a moment in NFL history when the reputation of the NFL was so low that it was believed by some that an elite college team could beat an NFL-caliber team.

To make a long story short, the college team was soundly beaten and ever since then the NFL's credibility has never been challenged.

While the grounds and the reasons for playing were all wrong, even way back then, the actual reasons for a game played between NFL players and college players would have many valid benefits.

First of all, the reasons for the senior bowl include statistically analyzing how elite college prospects perform against the best the NCAA has to offer. 

What better way of testing and preparing these players then to have them play in a very officiated, boundaries and rules-enforced, game against true NFL players?

I don't see why it couldn't happen, at some point in the future, beyond reasons based on pride and reputation.

I understand that NFL players and NFL coaches in general usually consider themselves better-in just about every way-, than coaches in the collegiate and other levels.

But just think of how much better our scout-teams would be, our evaluations of these players before giving them a large guaranteed contract.

You only have to look as far as Ryan Leaf or Alex Smith, Joey Harrington or this year even Andre Smith.

It's not that I believe that Smith will fall into the same category as the formers, just as Vernon Gholston is projected to be a bust in New York.

It's just that some of the personal weight and conditioning issues that might hurt the Outland-trophy winner's stock might also cause him to still get a fat contract from some team drafting him in the first round.

Then they'll say, once again, if only we had seen how they would have done against real NFL players.



-M, wong_83@hotmail.com