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League floats idea of replacing Pro Bowl with Senior Bowl

AFC's Marshall of the Miami Dolphins celebrates with an NFL mascot and cheerleaders during the NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu Reuters

When Pro Bowl rosters are announced tonight, it will be an invitation to play in a much-debated all-star game for the players involved.

In the coming years, it might be a ticket to a banquet, as the league’s considering options to a game that hasn’t been competitive for years.

NFL Network’s Albert Breer has a detailed look at some options for the future of the game, which the league seems intent on replacing.

“It’s tough to view it as ‘working’ now,” said Eric Grubman, the NFL’s executive vice president of business ventures. “What works about it is there’s recognition of great players, the players enjoy it, the fans enjoy it, and it gives people an opportunity to focus on football for a week when there wouldn’t be anything. . . .

“What’s not working is the players, for their own reasons, have not put on a true NFL quality game. We understand their logic, but there’s no getting around it — it’s not an NFL game.”

One option the league’s floating is to make it a college all-star game, perhaps even moving the Senior Bowl into that time slot, to create a celebration of the future as well as the present.

Expect players to fight it, for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s a huge junket for those involved, a week-long Hawaiian vacation. But the fact players are treating it like a vacation and not a competitive environment is the primary reason the league’s thinking about changing it.

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53 Responses to “League floats idea of replacing Pro Bowl with Senior Bowl”
  1. gtfan says: Dec 26, 2012 3:15 PM

    Works for me; I don’t watch either.

  2. lennydpocketqb says: Dec 26, 2012 3:17 PM

    They have to do something. It’s not a watchable game.

  3. niubears says: Dec 26, 2012 3:18 PM

    Make a 7 on 7 tourney out of it.
    Have a couple NFC and AFC squads, have captains select the teams out of those who get selected for the Pro Bowl. Fat guys must compete too and go out for passes to make this more entertaining.

    Players get a trip to Hawaii and fans get entertained. Problem solved NFL!

  4. salventuri says: Dec 26, 2012 3:18 PM

    Since when have the fans liked it? I don’t know one person who watches the Pro Bowl. Its a waste.

  5. jimnaizeeum says: Dec 26, 2012 3:19 PM

    “What works about it is there’s recognition of great players, the players enjoy it, the fans enjoy it

    Fans have not enjoyed this game for years, not entertaining at all

  6. britishraven says: Dec 26, 2012 3:21 PM

    By far the worst game of the season. I haven’t watched it for about 6 years

  7. rg3some says: Dec 26, 2012 3:23 PM

    Skills competition. No game, it’s not worth the risk (injury).

  8. ejmat2 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:23 PM

    Funny how the league (Goodell) is a hypocrite. He wants the players to go full out for a game that doesn’t mean anything, yet he limits what they can do during a real game by fining and taking away hitting. Make up your mind Goodell. One of his biggest things has been “It’s about the fans”. Well, if this works for the fans then why screw with it? Live it as is.

  9. footballfan58 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:24 PM

    I don’t even remember the last time I watched the Pro Bowl. It’s been about as exciting as watching grass grow.

  10. spartan822 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:24 PM

    Make it a skills competition instead of a game.

  11. sch00ns says: Dec 26, 2012 3:25 PM

    They should just extend the players vacation by a week so they can focus on preparing for a real game the first week, and enjoy their vacation the next.

  12. skin94249 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:27 PM

    All the skill positions need to wear flags instead of tackling making it very competitive. Save the game.

  13. bdoggg says: Dec 26, 2012 3:28 PM

    why not have em do tug o war and silly stuff like they used to? they will take pride in winning challenges like that than winning a meaningless game. get to know the players better. sounds like ratings to me. right????

  14. datageek94 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:34 PM

    During the season, I watch about 8-10 games per week. I haven’t watched the Pro Bowl for over 10 years. It’s not football.

    It might pull some ratings, but that’s probably due to a lack of other football available, certainly not due to its quality as a game. I’m fully in favor of it being dropped altogether. I can’t see the players in this modern, selfish, ‘it’s all about me’ NFL treating it like the honor it should be and actually playing a competitive game.

  15. dolfan220 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:35 PM

    And an even far worse idea was moving the game between the championship game and the super bowl. Now you have 2 teams who aren’t even represented.

  16. BringBackTheFlex says: Dec 26, 2012 3:37 PM

    Most pros have said in the past – you are more likely to get hurt when not going full speed.

    I think they should bring back the Superstar competition. Probowlers could compete in a variety of events. Offense versus defense, one on one, group against group, and NFC/AFC. Could be very entertaining and still competitive.

  17. hrmlss says: Dec 26, 2012 3:38 PM

    Still do a Hawaii trip, but after the Superbowl, have a skills competition, A golf tourney pairing them with Fan’s who win a slot, a big awards ceremony made for TV, announce the MVP there etc…. . Some meet and greets with fans. Maybe more fans would travel to Hawaii for it.

  18. hifive123 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:39 PM

    Whichever conference goes the longest without an arrest gets a prize.

  19. greencheeto says: Dec 26, 2012 3:40 PM

    How about the Senior Bowl with the top vote-getters by position as the position coaches?

  20. mazblast says: Dec 26, 2012 3:43 PM

    Even talking about the Pro Bowl is a waste of time and energy.

  21. ghostofgilchrist says: Dec 26, 2012 3:46 PM

    The Senior Bowl is a relic of the past with so many underclassmen entering the draft. Change it to allow all draft eligible players, then make it the new Pro Bowl.

  22. onbucky96 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:46 PM

    Boo hoo! The players can’t get an all expense paid trip to Hawaii. They did this to themselves by not trying the last SEVERAL years. Props to Aaron Rodgers for calling his “teammates” out @last years pro bowl. Take the pro bowl out back and go Old Yeller on it.

  23. 3kdad says: Dec 26, 2012 3:52 PM

    The only concern for the NFL is whether or not it makes money. The NFL does not care whether the fans like it or not or if it’s competitive or not. The players do seem to enjoy it. The “game”, the week, should be for them. They have earned it all year long. If they want to keep going over there leave it alone. The NFL should just eat the cost and fans can change the channel.

  24. sdb0ltz says: Dec 26, 2012 3:52 PM

    Easy solution…

    Bring back to QB Challenge and the Skills competitions for the other non QB players. Done.

    It was so fun watching those back in the day. The all stars get an invite to showcase their skills and get some bragging rights while at the same time posing a very low risk to injury and heck… if you want to throw in the Senior Bowl after the Pro’s compete.. I’m all for it!

    A great excuse to Fire up the grill!

  25. howiefeltersnatch says: Dec 26, 2012 3:53 PM

    Seniors vs. All-Pros

  26. purpleisaprettycolor says: Dec 26, 2012 3:54 PM

    Works for me. The Vikings never have any players or fans at that game anyhow. And i’m tired of seeing the NFC side loaded with Green Bay Packers.

    p.s….. i’m not just saying this because i’m jealous we’ve never won a suber bowl either.

  27. fissels says: Dec 26, 2012 3:55 PM

    I would watch a skills competition. Having a game is BS in my opinion.

  28. keevel says: Dec 26, 2012 3:55 PM

    For those suggesting skills competitions Robert Edwards and his one promising career would like to have a word with you.

  29. salmen76 says: Dec 26, 2012 3:59 PM

    I suggest the league replace the Pro Bowl with the “Future Bowl”. Let the team that finishes last in the NFC play the team that finishes last in the AFC play each other! The winner will earn the #1 draft pick from this victory instead of it just being given to them. I think this game would be very popular. I even coined a phrase to be used the 1st time the “Future Bowl” winning team makes it to the Super Bowl the following season. “From the ‘Future Bowl’ to the Super Bowl”! Ain’t it cool! Geaux Saints!

  30. purplengold says: Dec 26, 2012 4:06 PM

    Why risk injury for a needless game?

  31. randallflagg52 says: Dec 26, 2012 4:07 PM

    Don’t take away the pro bowl, or else all those poor little pittsburgh fans won’t have anything to look forward to, since their team isn’t in the playoffs and it will probably be their last chance to see some of their players play before they get cut due to bloated contracts and/or old age.

  32. westcoastbias12 says: Dec 26, 2012 4:09 PM

    Skills competition for sure. The QB challenge was awesome, and loved seeing Brian Moorman try and win the obstacle-type course.

    Do some tournaments, make a it a 3 day event or something.

    Other sports too. Do a golf event, or BBall, etc.

    Do like 4 v 4 flag football.

  33. epicurean56 says: Dec 26, 2012 4:15 PM

    A skills competition would be great. I watched the NHL All-Stars (last year of course) and I thought it was great to see the players a little more up close and personal and you get a better idea of how hard it is for them to perfect their skills.

    And if you really have to have a game, why not some kind of 7 on 7 flag teams from each division with elimination towards a champ? Now THAT I would watch.

  34. whatjusthapped says: Dec 26, 2012 4:17 PM

    purpleisaprettycolor says: i’m not just saying this because i’m jealous we’ve never won a suber bowl either.
    *******************************

    You never won a Superbowl either. Might be a long time before you get back to the game too given you need a QB that can throw over 30 yards.

    You are, no doubt, a product of the Minnesota public school system, they must be so proud.

  35. dafixisin says: Dec 26, 2012 4:17 PM

    Maybe a consolation bowl for the losers of the AFC/NFC championship games. It’ll be like a collective hug from the league for failing to advance to the big game. The conference 2nd placers can take out their frustrations on each other, after wallowing in the white sands of Hawaii.

  36. buffaloniner says: Dec 26, 2012 4:19 PM

    Judging by the comments and likes I see on a regular basis here, its clear that fans are in favor of replacing the probowl with a skills competition by an overwhelming margin and I agree. I can’t see how this would not be a ratings juggernaut for the NFL if it was hyped and played on a larger scale than the skills competition of the past. The probowl apparently gets decent ratings as it is and nobody even likes it, the fans would actually like this alternative! Think about it goodell!

    Skills competition!

  37. lombarditrophies says: Dec 26, 2012 4:23 PM

    Skill competition??? I don’t think so. Does anyone remember Robert Edwards and the beach flag football game on Waikiki?

  38. shackdelrio says: Dec 26, 2012 4:34 PM

    The Senior Bowl game is a joke too. Most of the NFL scouts leave Mobile following the practices.

  39. tone360 says: Dec 26, 2012 4:35 PM

    I watched it one year to see Mike Singletary one last time.

  40. 4thqtrsaint says: Dec 26, 2012 4:38 PM

    Make it a Rookie bowl… Each player that is selected will get to select a rookie or up-and-comer to play for them instead… Gerhart instead of Peterson, etc

  41. skidooman93 says: Dec 26, 2012 4:41 PM

    Make it a true flag football game. which it is basically now. I dont mind watching it now the guys just look like they are out there goofing off anyhow. Why not put flag belts on them they may have more fun with that. Or let the players coach themselves. Have lineman run patterns and have the skills guys block. Let them be creative like a pick up game.

  42. buffaloniner says: Dec 26, 2012 4:47 PM

    lombarditrophies says: Dec 26, 2012 4:23 PM

    Skill competition??? I don’t think so. Does anyone remember Robert Edwards and the beach flag football game on Waikiki?

    ————————————————-

    And you think this is less likely to happen in an actual game??

    I twisted my ankle walking down the sidewalk the other day, that doesn’t mean its more dangerous than getting drilled by a 250 lb monster.

    Besides, I’m more or less referring to the position specific challenges that don’t require an actual football game to be played. I don’t think anybody wants to see flag football.

  43. tgraider says: Dec 26, 2012 4:47 PM

    The best part of the pro bowl used to be the position challanges they did. That was when the pro bowl was full to watch. QB had there passing comp, WR did catching, line man did the bench press, even the kicks got into it with ther game of horse. It was fun to watch. Why not bring that back and oss the game?

  44. ickky says: Dec 26, 2012 4:48 PM

    Replace it with a tug of war, and other irrelevant Hawaii beach competitions. Add in some Bikini clad Chearleaders, and you will have my attention for a few hours.

  45. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Dec 26, 2012 5:08 PM

    I actually suggested this last year. It will give us a good look at some of the rookies before the draft, and at least the rookies have something to play for. Show the Senior Bowl, and follow it with a skills competition by all the “Pro-Bowl” players.

  46. nkmho says: Dec 26, 2012 6:07 PM

    How about NCAA National Champions vs. worst NFL team.

  47. qwest12 says: Dec 26, 2012 6:11 PM

    I say stop picking Super Bowl location in advance and give winning conference home field for Super Bowl, yes even if it is in Lambo. The NFL makes enough money they can survive if they take a cut on proceeds from having Super Bowl in smaller cities or dealing with bad weather.

  48. sixjak says: Dec 26, 2012 6:15 PM

    I think a lot of these players are self absorbed enough to believe they are entitled to a week long all expenses paid Hawaiian vacation after playing top flight for a season and that there are enough fans out there who are willing to watch them play like they are on vacation.

    The rest of us work all year to justify a vacation we pay for with our own money. They can do the same.

    Orrrrrrrr

    Why doesn’t the NFL pay the winning team say…3 million apiece?Maybe that would motivate these guys to not only get there but to play hard once they do. 152m it would cost to pay the winners. The losers get paid 50k apiece for showing up. 2.6 million to pay the losers. With advertising and sponsorships it could become a spectacle almost as big as the SB. Do highlight reels all week long of each player who made the probowl. Let them get their narcissistic pub and brag about how awesome they are. It would be great.

  49. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 26, 2012 7:57 PM

    The game is an absolute joke. Can see more competitive football watching game of touch football on beaches of Maui.

    NFL should play one real game a season in Hawaii with west coast teams like Seahawks and 49ers for example.

    But please stick a fork in the Pro Bowl..it’s done!

  50. bobulated says: Dec 26, 2012 10:54 PM

    Wait! Doesn’t the Pro Bowl decide who gets home field in the Super Bowl? Oh, my bad, only MLB is asinine enough to make an exhibition game count in any way.

  51. steelerben says: Dec 27, 2012 7:01 AM

    howiefeltersnatch says:
    Dec 26, 2012 3:53 PM
    Seniors vs. All-Pros

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You could have all of the draft eligible players going up against a team that was NFC/AFC rotating so one was offense and one was defense on an alternating basis yearly. The draft eligible players have something to play for because they want to make a name for themselves up against the best of the best and the NFL players shouldn’t have to go full tilt in order to keep the game competitive.

    And whoever floated the idea of the “Future Bowl”, if you think two teams made of All-Stars goofing off is boring, just wait until you see two teams that are the dregs of both conferences stink up the field to earn the first pick. You want to watch the Jaguars or Chiefs play against the Lions or the Eagles?

  52. btowngetsdown says: Dec 27, 2012 9:54 AM

    Back in the day, the College all-stars (All-Americans) used to play the Super Bowl champions. It’d be fun to see the All-Americans vs. the Pro Bowlers in a game. I think people would tune in for that. I know I would.

  53. vikingfan1971 says: Dec 27, 2012 2:26 PM

    If they win the packers on sunday justhap they can be in the superbowl just like anyother team, you only need one loss and you are out and the team has been pulling it together, they will beat your team justhap I know you are a packer fan so sick of packer fans just because they are in the playoffs they are automatically in the superbowl no way, the vikings will play there hearts out to get there, and they are better than they were last year so that is a bonus.

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