We've been discussing the fate of the NFL Pro Bowl around here for a while. After this year's debacle/sham of a game, its fate was sort of in limbo. Players weren't even playing half-speed as they understandably don't want to get hurt in a meaningless all-star game that fans don't seem to care about.
Today the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced that the Pro Bowl will be back next year, played in Hawaii on the weekend before the Super Bowl. Yay?
The league and the NFLPA are trying to sell it as best they can, but will a skeptical fan base watch the game? Doubtful. Sure there will be some diehards who will want to tune in but is that enough? The NFL press release says in part,
"The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition," said NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth. "We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honored for their achievements on the field."
Okay, well then they better live up to that commitment, right? Too often guys are voted in and then come up with a mystery ailment that keeps them out of action. Obviously players who are playing in the Super Bowl aren't going to play, they haven't ever since the game was moved to the week before the Big Game.
The NFL says that they are working with the players to make sure the game is played competitively because they all recognize the quality of the game was pretty terrible. I'm paraphrasing there.
Maybe it will be a good thing and the players will take it more seriously, I mean look at that picture up there. How often do you see an offensive lineman smiling in the middle of a play? Not very.