The reviews are in: This year’s Pro Bowl was worse than usual. The game contained all of the drama of an episode of Two and a Half Men.
Even the usually sober-minded folks at the Associated Press couldn’t help but rip the game a new one. Since the NFL doesn’t have their own writers recap the game, NFL.com was forced to display said hatchet piece prominently on their website.
1. “The NFC’s 55-41 victory, a game not nearly as interesting as that score might suggest, did nothing to repair the tattered image of the NFL’s all-star contest.”
2. “AFC quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Cassel threw first-half interceptions as the NFC blew open a 42-0 lead in a performance ugly even by the historically low standards of this game.”
3. ” Pro Bowls are, by their nature, laid-back affairs, seemingly played at half speed by players whose biggest concern is to get on the plane home without injury. The AFC took that attitude to an uncomfortable extreme early . . . “
The game was popular with one important group of people: The players. Ray Lewis was one of many players to say they liked having the game back in Hawaii as a “reward” for the players. We don’t blame him, but the league may feel differently.
It felt like the Pro Bowl got less media attention this year than last, even by the league’s network. It’s just too expensive and tricky to send reporters to Hawaii before the Super Bowl. Then again, maybe a game with so little effort doesn’t need more attention.
“It is what it is,” coach Bill Belichick said when asked of his team’s performance.