NFL Pro Bowl: Does Anyone Really Care?
The National Football League announced the rosters for the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference teams in the 2008 Pro Bowl.
Besides the players that earn a salary bonus for being selected to the team, does anyone really care about what happens after the Super bowl?
Does it matter that Peyton and Eli are the first quarterbacking brothers to be elected to the same pro bowl?
Does anyone care that the New York Jets and the New York Giants are sending 13 players between them?
Are Packers fans crying because Brett Favre is playing for the AFC team, representing the J-E-T-S in Hawaii?
If your favorite team doesn't make the playoffs, do you even care that one of the players makes the pro bowl?
Does anyone even know when the game is actually played?
Most fans probably channel-surf through other programming on a cold, Sunday afternoon and just happen upon the Pro Bowl.
Unlike the NBA, NHL, and MLB, the NFL decides to have it's "all-star" game be held at the end of the season.
There is no question that a mid-season pro bowl would disrupt the flow of the season and be a huge distraction in such a short season. In a 17 week regular season, every game is very important and the NFL cannot afford to take a week off to introduce a mid-season "all-star" break. However, it would at least get some people to tune in to the game.
The Super Bowl is the highest rated sporting event in the world, and brings in hundreds of millions of viewers. There is a reason so many people watch this game, though—it signals the end of the season.
Everyone knows that the Giants upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but nobody can tell you which side won the Pro Bowl.
Sports fans stop paying attention to football after the Super Bowl, as their attention shifts towards back to the other major sports.
Even with all of the attention that ESPN and other sports networks pay to the unveiling of the Pro Bowl rosters, fans do not get excited because their team is sending a couple guys to the game.
The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Cheifs have a couple players who will be starting for the AFC side, but that doesn't mean their fans are now excited to continue paying attention to the end of the season.
The Raiders and Chiefs have had lackluster seasons and their fans could care less if one of their guys got selected to the Pro Bowl. They would quickly trade their Pro Bowl spots for a chance at making the playoffs again.
There is no drama. There are no situations. There is nothing on the line. It's not a game for the fans and the NFL needs to do something about it.
The best players in the league should definitely be honored, but there has to be a different way. Letting fans vote is the only real way that the NFL gets their fans to participate in the Pro Bowl experience. It's just not good enough anymore.
With all of the bad publicity that the NFL has been getting over the last few years, this is the best way for the Commissioner to fix the image.
He needs to make the Pro Bowl more of an event, where fans can come and interact with the players and the NFL in general. Either that, or make the game count for something and add some drama.
If these guys are so big and tough, let them play tackle football without pads. That would get people excited about the game. Let's see how that works out.
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