With the Super Bowl a week away, the NFL is pushing a product on fans that no longer holds the same meaning that it did before. They are trying to tell the world that a Pro Bowl game will be played, yet it is devoid of the very best in the NFL has to offer.
Roger Goodell is the commissioner of the league, and his legacy is forever tarnished by some recent moves that has most calling the fascist commissioner a moron. His moving the Pro Bowl a week ahead of the Super Bowl is certainly near the top of his list of moves that has fans, coaches, and players scratching their heads.
Perhaps Goodell should have this game retitled the Consolation Bowl, because not all the best has to offer will play. There will be several Pro Bowl players from the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts not playing so they can avoid injury and prepare for Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010. The fact that 13 players chosen will be forced to skip the event shows that the NFL commissioner has turned the game into a fraudulent sham whose only real purpose is to steal a few more dollars from their fans to put on a game filled with more mediocre players than ever before.
Though critics like to lament how the players, who participate in the Pro Bowl, give little effort because the game means nothing more than a paycheck, the main reason is that the modern player needs more incentive to find their source to draw pride in the abilities from. Gone are the players who used to give a great effort because they wanted to show they were the best by winning this game. Goodell, who has dropped the ball on many moments in his tenure, continues to spit in the eye of tradition here by thinking he has taken the easy way out once again.
Thinking outside of the box of confined thought is something the league should consider. Major League Baseball added an important incentive that has their upper echelon players give full effort, and the NFL should go this same route. The winning conference can earn home field advantage in the Super Bowl, which is what baseball has done to success so far. It makes for a better game for the fans, players, and even sponsors who pour millions of dollars into these games.
The NFL would most likely never consider this idea because they do not want a Super Bowl played in nine feet of snow with winds at 110 miles per hour if the Buffalo Bills reach the Super Bowl a year when the AFC held home field rights by winning the previous Pro Bowl. But that is where Goodell and the league are missing the point.
Giving players incentive to work and play hard in the Pro Bowl can bring out the very best from their All-Stars. The league may fret the fair weathered fan, who brings a family of four or more to a game where ticket prices skyrocket to obscene proportions, will eschew a cold weathered venue. Yet this is a tax free organization who sells luxury boxes in each stadium, licensed seating, and has never had a problem even filling seats in an exhibition game played by free agents and rookies making their last appearance in a uniform during the preseason. The Super Bowl would be sold out even if it was played on an iceberg in the Antarctic.
The NFL likes to use catchphrases like "giving back" and "community." These are phrases, since it is the fans who made the league what it is. A Super Bowl in a city like Buffalo would do wonders for that city's economy. That is the truest way to give back to the community instead of continuing to bite the hands that feed and keep the game alive.
Goodell will choose continue the work of former commissioner Paul Tagliabue by eroding the game and exiling the fans with a "shut up and like it" message. Defense is becoming as extinct as the dodo bird, and exerts about as much flight right now. The only future is the league adopting the moronic college football overtime rule. That's more of Goodell's speed, and is the easy way out that he usually takes. That is, of course, the league avoids another players strike.
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