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Even though the NFL has considered scrapping the Pro Bowl, even though everyone claims to hate the Pro Bowl, even though the Pro Bowl is filled with replacement players, you still watched the Pro Bowl. Admit it. Maybe not the whole thing, but at the very least you snuck in a peek or two just to see J.J. Watt line up at wide receiver or some intra-fan brouhahas.
At this point the Pro Bowl is functionally irrelevant. Very few people care, but does that make it worthless? Even though it often looks like a glorified flag football game, there are redeeming qualities. It can be fun as long as you correctly calibrate your expectations. I set out to prove this, so I kept a running diary of the game. See it after the jump.
Football is an intense viewing experience. People enjoy consuming alcohol when they watch it. This is a volatile combination, and helps lead to moments like this. And this. And if you think the Pro Bowl’s laid-back atmosphere means everyone in the crowd is too… think again.
I mean, he’s no Andre Smith, but that’s definitely some gut there. Not that Peyton Manning needs any semblance of athleticism – only rarely do we see him dawdle his way out of the pocket. Now we have no idea whether or not this is at the Pro Bowl, or if this is even from this year. But that is most definitely Peyton Manning (the digital watch was a dead giveaway).
This weekend, in the middle of that two-week lull between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, is the Pro Bowl. Players who are participating in the Super Bowl are exempt, and injured players are excused as well. But The Game Must Go On, because everyone loves the Pro Bowl, so the NFL kindly invites replacements. 29 of them, actually.
A New England Patriots Special Teams Player Earned $300,000 From A Contract Incentive For Making The Pro Bowl
Through multiple “league sources,” including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Shutdown Corner has compiled a list of players who satisfied financial incentive clauses of their contracts for making the Pro Bowl. Many of the usual suspects are there, including Champ Bailey, Julius Peppers and Jason Pierre-Paul, and dollar amounts range from $50,000-$300,000. But so is one special teamer, and he’s a good deal richer.
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.
Fans don’t like the lack of effort in the Pro Bowl, and neither does Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who sounded less-than-enthusiastic about some of his NFC teammates this past Sunday.