Every year NFL players complain about the Pro Bowl, fans complain about the Pro Bowl and the NFL vows to do something about the Pro Bowl. Nothing ever happens. Sure, they moved it up a few weeks to before the Super Bowl, but the basic premise of guys willingly putting their bodies in harm’s way for a meaningless game renders the entire exercise worthless. We might have finally stumbled upon a bit of good news, however, when Roger Goodell flatly stated last night that he would consider abandoning the entire thing altogether.
Goodell did a spot on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s “Town Hall” with Michael Strahan, and was rather black and white regarding the issue.
“”If we cannot accomplish that kind of standard (of high play), I am inclined to not play it,” Goodell said. ‘It is really tough to force competition, and after a long season, to ask those guys to go out and play at the same level they played is really tough.’
The league still would select a Pro Bowl team through voting by players, coaches and fans, because it is an honor, but ‘just not play the game,’ he said.”
This is the solution everyone wants. The public relations disaster that is the Pro Bowl is nowhere near worth the cash cow value, especially when the NFL is reeling in $9 billion each year. Still, professional sports leagues have trouble divorcing from tradition, even if that tradition lacks any basis in logical purpose (see video replay in baseball, for example). So we’ll have to find solace in this crumb of progress, and pray that the “standard” does not improve in the coming years. Because no improvement will recreate football, but only a lesser bastardization of the game.
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