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.