10 Reasons Nobody Cares About the NFL Pro Bowl
With the biggest game of the year right around the corner—the Super Bowl—does anyone really care about the NFL Pro Bowl?
First and worst, the best players don't always make it to the game. Some get voted in but are headed to the Super Bowl, while others get left out largely due to voting flaws.
The game is often more jovial than competitive, and while the rules are put in place to prevent injuries, they make the game extremely boring.
Wouldn't you rather watch basketball?
Here are 10 reasons why the Pro Bowl always gets horrible ratings.
The Best Players Don't Always Make It
There are three reasons that your favorite players or the most deserving guys don't always get into the Pro Bowl.
What are the three reasons? The first reason is fans, the second reason is coaches, and the third reason is players.
Each group makes up one-third of the voting block. It is impossible to be completely objective, but it is rare any of the three groups try to be.
And even worse, the teams with the biggest fanbases send more people every year. It is simple: Teams with the most fans produce the most voters.
Fans, players and even coaches can be fickle, and that becomes more obvious when you see how each group has voted.
It Doesn't Really Matter
The NFL Pro Bowl has little meaning.
Of course, the game is solely meant to honor those players who performed well over the season, but other than that, there is nothing at stake (more money goes to the winners as well).
MLB has a good way to get fans invested in its All-Star Game. The winning side gets home-field advantage in the World Series.
If the NFL can find some way to make the game more interesting to fans, like sending the losing side to play a game in Siberia ever year, it would be more entertaining for everyone (and the players would try harder to win).
It Needs Better Contests
The NBA has the slam dunk contest during All-Star Weekend (although the event has fallen off quite a bit).
MLB has the home run derby before the All-Star Game.
What great contest is associated with the NFL Pro Bowl? I am still waiting. The Pro Bowl has contests, but let's just call them, well, forgettable.
The Pro Bowl needs to have a giant event before the game. What? I don't know. How about the NFL big wigs use their brains for something other than fining players for hits and touchdown dances.
NFL executives could decide upon a number of ideas,and then let the fans decide which contest would gain their attention the most.
There Is Still One Game Left to Play
There aren't many people looking forward to the Pro Bowl, but almost every NFL fan is going to watch the Super Bowl.
If you end up missing the Pro Bowl, who cares? There is still one game that really matters that you can watch.
The Pro Bowl should be a couple of weeks after the Super Bowl.
NFL junkies could get their fix considering no one is ready for the games to stop being played in February, and players who are in the Super Bowl could go to Hawaii if they wanted to (assuming the game remains in Hawaii).
Can I Come?
Imagine John Doe sitting at his house in Topeka, Kan. He just got home from a long day of work and reaches down to grab his last beer. The fridge just didn't get it cold enough, and—you guessed it—his freezer and ice machine are broken.
Now, he kicks on the television to watch the NFL Pro Bowl. What does he see?
He gets to watch some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, but he's stuck in Kansas (not quite the best place to make postcards).
As one could imagine, the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that players want the game to stay in Hawaii as opposed to another destination. The Pro Bowl was held in Miami in 2009.
The game isn't very fun to watch on television, but it would be nice if the Pro Bowl moved around from year to year so people without the ability to fly to Hawaii could see the game live.
Basketball Is on
Some people would rather watch the boring Pro Bowl over an intense NBA matchup, but those people are rare (I'm talking "winning the lottery" rare).
So, you could either watch as NBA teams are making playoff pushes, or you can watch the Pro Bowl—a powderpuff game played once a year that doesn't mean anything.
Sure, some people hate basketball, I get that. However, I am pretty sure there are other things to watch or do more entertaining than the Pro Bowl (like watching paint dry).
It Doesn't Stop the Hurt
While no one wants their favorite team's best player to continue to suffer until next season, it doesn't stop the hurt people feel about their team getting knocked out of the playoffs or, even worse, not making the playoffs at all.
Does anyone take consolation in the fact they get to see a couple of their teams' stars playing in Hawaii rather than in Indianapolis (the site of the 2012 Super Bowl)?
Is the larger check enough of a reason for players give it all they have? Apparently not.
No one wants to see a watered-down version of the NBA All-Star Game (as in, no defense and a lot of lackluster play).
But there is one reason, and it is a legitimate one, why players don't play as hard as most would want them to: injuries.
The primary reason for the halfhearted play that is so evident in the Pro Bowl is injury concerns.
As much as people want to see an entertaining game, they would rather see their team's best players able to walk after the Pro Bowl is over.
The concern for injury not only turns the game into a dull snooze-fest, but it makes one question if the game should even be played.
A player can get injured going to the store, but he is much more likely to be injured playing in the Pro Bowl.
So, the rules have been changed in order to further prevent injury.
Rules Make the Game, but They Also Break the Game
The NFL Pro Bowl rules are enough to compel someone to turn off the TV, and they make an already boring game worse. ESPN's Scoop Jackson would agree with me.
There is no motion allowed on offense. A tight end must be on the field in all formations. Only two receivers are allowed on one side of the field. Intentional grounding is legal. Defense can only play in a 4-3 formation.
Yes. There's more.
No press coverage outside of the 5-yard line is allowed. No blitzing is allowed. No rushing punts, field goal, or point after attempts are allowed, either.
Players' moms will be cutting off the crust from their sandwiches during halftime, too.
I understand the concern over injuries. These players are making a ton of money, and one of them going down in a worthless game doesn't make sense, but neither does having a mind-numbing Pro Bowl.