2010 Pro Bowl logo2010 Pro Bowl

Note to the NFL: Time to Change Up the Pro Bowl

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31:   (L-R) Robert Mathis, Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts look on during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Mark PepponiCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2010

After the first few snaps of the Pro Bowl yesterday, I found myself wondering:

Did I just see someone intentionally miss a tackle?

Did I just see another player intentionally avoid hitting someone?

In a game devoid of any real football playing, and one that looked like a sandlot pick-up game, it was apparent to me from the very outset.

No one on this field seemed to be taking this game seriously.

No one is going to take any chances, and for that matter, no one is going to really tackle.

Oh yeah, one more thing: No one really cares. The Colts contingent actually looked annoyed that they had to be in attendance.

In a game where there was more laughing, butt slaps, showboating, and fistbumps, I felt a little cheated that I actually vaporized a couple hours watching this grandstand. 

Even the referees were all smiles as they went through the motions as players from both sides avoided contact like the plague. The hardest tackle of the night came at the end of the contest by DeSean Jackson as he took down an opponent after an interception return.

I'm not for making this Pro Bowl like baseball's All-Star game, but the game loses some of its appeal by just knowing in advance that it really doesn't mean a thing.  I personally would rather see a skills competition that pits the best vs. the best by position; this would get rid of the concern of serious injury.

Lastly, no one wants to see players get injured. But it's apparent that with all the big money that's on the line, no player wants to risk his career earnings and future by getting lambasted in an exhibition game. I get that.

It's with that in mind that the commish must get a little more creative and give the fans a little bit more bang for the buck.

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