4 Ways to Make the Pro Bowl Suck Less
The Pro Bowl is definitely the worst all-star game of any professional sport. The NBA All-Star Game is a beautiful tribute to all of the crazy shit NBA players wish they could do in games. The NHL All-Star game has similar displays of ridiculous, plus they get extra special bonus points for being the first league to use the kickball draft system. And the MLB All-Star Game…still sucks, but at least it means something – so it’s kind of competitive.1
All of these leagues also have all-star weekends, which are awesome displays of all of the stuff fans really care about. People watch the NBA, NHL, and MLB for the ungodly dunks, crazy shots, and steroid-fueled bomb balls (respectively) – and the leagues use their all-star weekends to put these things on display.
Meanwhile, the NFL – the most lucrative sports league IN THE WORLD – has a shitty all-star game that interrupts the playoffs and doesn’t even feature the players from the two “best”2 teams in the league. The whole thing is just a glorified reason for NFL execs to be able to go somewhere warm for a weekend on the league’s dime and nothing more. This needs to change.
Here are four ways the NFL Pro Bowl could suck less:
1. Make It an All-Star Weekend and Add Skills Contests
The NFL contains some of the most athletically-gifted humans on the face of the earth – let’s see that talent do crazy shit.
Picture this: A five-man relay featuring squads for eight of the league’s teams. The team has a quarterback, a running back, a wide receiver, a defensive linebacker, and a kicker. The relay starts with the kicker making a 50-yard field goal. Then, the running back does a forty-yard dash to the quarterback, who must complete a 20-yard, 30-yard, and 40-yard throw through a tire. The defensive lineman pushes a sled fifteen yards to a wide receiver, who sprints out and dives for a corner touchdown catch. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
Plus, there are countless skills contests that could be made up for wide outs, cornerbacks, quarterbacks, and everyone in between. Al Michaels and company love to blabber about how every position in football is a “skill position.” Let’s see some of those skills put to work in contests fans can get excited about.
2. Make Roger Goodell Play Five Snaps for Each Team
Roger Goodell is a despicable, insensitive, ignorant douchemonger who does not give two shits about the NFL’s players, its fans, or humans in general. He is the kind of “man” who stands by a full season (later changed to ten games) suspension for a player who smoked marijuana while giving a two-game suspension to the guy who knocked his wife unconscious. He facilitated the NFL’s concussion lawsuit settlement in a way that kept countless players and families of deceased players from receiving adequate (or any) help. Let’s put him on the field.
Can you imagine how many people would tune in to the Pro Bowl to watch pro football’s #1 shitsack get rocked by the very players he routinely tries to screw over? My guess is all the people.
3. Put It in the Middle of The Season
The NFL Playoff stretch contains four of the most entertaining weeks in all of sport – and the most boring one. There is no part of me that has ever thought, “Oh wow! The Conference Finals were awesome! But you know what I really want now? A meaningless game sandwiched between two weeks of Skip Bayless discussing why tattoos are evidence of poor moral character.” Make the Pro Bowl into an entertainment spectacle in the middle of the season and give injured players time to recuperate before the infinitely more important second part of the season. PLUS, then you can finally get all of the league’s best players in the game that’s SUPPOSED TO SHOWCASE ALL OF THE LEAGUE’S BEST PLAYERS. A Pro Bowl without Peyton Manning is like an NBA All-Star Game without LeBron. It’s like ordering a cheeseburger and having the waiter return with a piece of shit between two pieces of Wonderbread. DO YOU GET IT??? IT’S BAD.
4. Play It Anywhere Else
It’s good that the Pro Bowl is no longer in Hawaii. Hawaii does not want or deserve the loud, probably drunk, definitely annoying annoying tourists that follow the Pro Bowl. Hawaii has beautiful landscapes and self-respect. However, the NFL would’ve been smart to move the Pro Bowl to LITERALLY ANYWHERE OTHER THAN ARIZONA.
I get it, moving the Pro Bowl to the same city as the Super Bowl saves the NFL money and hassle. But honestly, why would you make one of the worst places in the country the epicenter of your league for a week and a half? Here’s a fun story: The State of Arizona originally refused to honor Martin Luther King Day because, you know, racism. Want to know what got them to change their minds? It wasn’t human decency. IT WAS THE SUPER BOWL. The NFL threatened to revoke Arizona’s bid to host the Super Bowl in 1993. When 1990 came around, four years after Martin Luther King Day was first observed as a national holiday, Arizona voters decided, “Eh. Civil rights weren’t that important” and continued to refuse to honor the holiday. After the NFL took away the Super Bowl, the voters changed their minds because apparently it’s only worthwhile to acknowledge one of the most important people in American history if it means you can pay 500 dollars to see athletes mentally cripple themselves for a corrupt system.
Plus, Arizona is known as “the place you go to die.” NFL players deserve better than this. If you’re going to force these guys to ruin their vacations to play in a sham of a game for a scumbag of a commissioner, at least send them somewhere known for more than having a super big hole in the ground and a strange affinity for 19th Century social politics.
The Pro Bowl sucks. It’s terrible. But it can suck less. If the NFL followed just one of these suggestions, the Pro Bowl could be slightly less awful than it has been every year since forever.