With last week’s flurry of public punches directed by the NFLPA to the NFL, it would have been easy to understand a decision by the league to pull the plug on the one-week vacation culminating in a touch football game played in pads, otherwise known as the Pro Bowl.
The NFL wanted to get rid of it. The NFLPA wanted to keep it. In the end, the NFL and the NFLPA found a way to keep it around.
That’s good news, given that the league and the union currently get along only slightly better than a husband with a chronic gastrointestinal problem and a wife with a heightened sense of smell. (Or vice-versa.) And it shows that, as in 2011, NFLPA leadership adopts a more reasonable and conciliatory tone once the microphones are out of earshot.
Still, the league wants to improve the game. And it’s our understanding that NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth has made some very creative suggestions, including some type of a fantasy points element.
Regardless of the specific ideas, it’s going to be very difficult to persuade players who have made it through a full season sufficiently healthy to play in the Pro Bowl to risk playing hard enough to head into the offseason with a significant injury — especially if the Pro Bowler is due to become a free agent. In the end, money talks and players who aren’t getting very much of it for winning will be inclined to walk, or something close to it, once the game begins.