At this point, could we just make the Pro Bowl a flag football tournament? I haven’t sat and watched an entire Pro Bowl game since 2002. I was a teenager; and, when I did, I just watched it to see Mike Vick. He was my favorite player at the time, and I really thought this would be an opportunity to see him light up an All Pro defense to really shut up most critics who hated the way he played QB. I was quickly disheartened as I watched the most “watered down” version of pro football I had ever watched in my young life. After that, I gave up on watching the Pro Bowl, and simply saw it for what it was……a vacation for all the best athletes in the NFL that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. I recently watched the highlights from the most recent Pro Bowl, and I saw that I was basically watching 2 hand touch. The season is over for all of these guys, and the focus is just preparing for the next season. Regardless of any money that they are going to get for winning the Pro Bowl, their health is of high concern. I can’t blame them for valuing their health. I promise I would do the same. None of the Pro Bowl competition counts for anything, so why risk your wellbeing. If you ever see someone laying out on a big hit, that person is immediately frowned upon by the opposing team, and maybe even his own teammates. It’s a waste of time and gives the most boring brand of football in my opinion. No one is going full throttle, not even the linemen, so at this point, just make it a flag football tournament weekend.
So, my thought is this. Continue to have the AFC and NFC conferences with each side having their Pro Bowl selections. Then have a “school yard” pick amongst selected captains for four teams within each conference– totaling eight teams in the entire tournament. Friday night have your first four teams play their games, and the winning team moves on to a Saturday night semifinal matchup with whichever two teams win Saturday morning. Winners of the Saturday night semifinal match move on to the championship game Sunday night, and BOOM you have completed your Pro Bowl weekend and actually stimulated some competition during the weekend. To sweeten the pot, have each team represent a charity of some sort or even a Pro Bowl title belt to carry on from year to year. Anything to make it a little more enjoyable than what we see from year to year.
The Pro Bowl is a skills player spotlight opportunity anyway. No shade at the big fellas on the front lines, but they don’t get a lot of shine as is unfortunately. I don’t even think they have a linemen skills competition during the entire Pro Bowl week. To be honest, I do believe linemen would still like the opportunity to be honored as a Pro Bowler, but if they can be granted the opportunity to just rest, I think they would take it.
I’m not going to lie, watching a flag version of the NFL with a mix of some of my favorite athletes playing together, puts an image of NFL Street in my mind. Of course, I know that some aspects won’t be exactly like Street, but I could only imagine what a cool outcome would stem from this idea.
What are your thoughts on this?
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