The Pro Bowl continues to stave off the smell of death, can a move to Florida help?
You always hear of sports stars’ desire to visit a Disney theme park upon winning a big game, now, they may be able to do so in the NFL, just for being good and/or popular.
The NFL is set to announce the 2017 Pro Bowl will be vacating Hawaii for Orlando, Florida in a deal with Disney, ESPN and the league that should have some heavy corporate synergy tied into it all, at least for the Mouse House.
The move comes as the league continues to tinker with the Pro Bowl format as well as the location, over the last few seasons the game has been in Hawaii or attached to the Super Bowl location, as it was in 2015 when it was here at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Having attended the 2015 Pro Bowl bestowed on me with my Arizona Cardinals season tickets, I can honestly say, there really isn’t any point or need to save this game. It’s terrible.
When was the last time you watched the Pro Bowl? Or attended one? Or even though, “Hey, this sounds like something fun to do!”
I went two years ago to see the experience and how it all played out, but it wasn’t very good, and I’m not sure what the league can do to liven it up. Other league’s all star games have the advantage of being in the middle of the season, when interest is high, there are no other games, and it is an event, with great surrounding activities.
Major League Baseball, for all the controversy associated with it, tied home field advantage to the All Star Game after teams stopped trying. But it also has the Home Run Derby, a Legends Game, etc. to keep it interesting year after year. A player and fan ballot also helps.
One of the biggest problems with the Pro Bowl is that some of the best players simply aren’t there. With the Pro Bowl being the week before the Super Bowl, any of the players from, arguably, the best two teams, will not play. If you do it the week after the Super Bowl many players just want to mentally check out after a long, hard-fought season.
You can’t play the game in the middle of the season because football players are too valuable to replace, an injury can spell the end to a team’s season, and no one is going to risk it at, say Week 8, with half the season to go.
When it comes down to it, the Pro Bowl, or any NFL All Star Game, simply doesn’t work. While the NFL has been able to make the Draft, Combine, and even Preseason mean something to ratings, advertisers and even casual fans, getting some of the biggest players together just simply doesn’t work.
The league needs to find away to culture and utilize rivals, something that will breed emotion and not make it look like a pick-up game on a sunny winter day in Florida. How they do that, I can’t say, but watching a bunch of guys play no defense and sling the ball like a bunch of teenagers on a backyard field, well, that just isn’t any fun to watch.