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New Pro Bowl would include two fans in player draft

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Big changes could indeed be coming to the most meaningless NFL game of the year.

In a poll posted by the league at, a device used by one of the league’s marketing groups to get feedback from fans, a question is raised containing detailed information regarding potential changes to the Pro Bowl.

“The NFL is proposing changes to its 2014 Pro Bowl,” begins the question that was forwarded to PFT by a reader who requested anonymity.

Under the proposal, fans would vote during the season for the top NFL players at each position regardless of conference.  For example, instead of voting for three NFC and three AFC quarterbacks, the fans would vote for six quarterbacks from the entire league.  (It’s unclear whether players and coaches would still vote on the players, too.  Currently, fans, players, and coaches each count for one third of the total vote.)

In December, 86 players selected to the Pro Bowl would be announced, with no specific team affiliation.

Then, on the Wednesday before the game, a draft of the teams would be conducted.  The “front office” would include:  (1) a prominent NFL alumnus for each team; (2) the highest vote-getter on offense and the highest vote-getter on defense, with each serving as the on-field captain of a team; and (3) the two fans who scored the most points this season playing Fantasy Football.

The poll then asks the fans who respond to gauge their level of interest, from “very interested” to “somewhat interested” to “a little bit interested” to “not at all interested.”  (We’ll conduct the same poll below.)

This meshes with reports that a draft format “may happen” this season, and the involvement of two fans would give the Pro Bowl the reported “game show” feel.

Finally, a separate poll asks the fans to rank in order of preference the potential name of the new Pro Bowl:  (1) Pro Bowl:  The Players’ Game; (2) Pro Bowl:  All-Star Pick-Up Game; (3) Pro Bowl:  Player Selection Draft; (4) Pro Bowl:  All-Star Fantasy; and (5) Pro Bowl:  All-Star Fantasy game.

Vote below on the changes, and add any other comments you want.

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93 Responses to “New Pro Bowl would include two fans in player draft”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 26, 2013 10:39 PM

    The Polldaddy Bowl. If I might offer a suggestion.

  2. leftygun says: Jul 26, 2013 10:40 PM

    This is making a bad situation worse. Embarrassing.

  3. onebucplace says: Jul 26, 2013 10:40 PM

    Fan voting shouldn’t be allowed at all — most fans are complete r-words. Fan drafting might be the worst idea I’ve ever heard of — like something on a Stalin level of evil.

  4. whitdog23 says: Jul 26, 2013 10:42 PM

    Does anybody make a decision anymore without approval from a focus group? GEEZ
    Grow some balls NFL!

  5. ottawabrave91 says: Jul 26, 2013 10:43 PM

    can’t I do all stuff this on Madden?

  6. smartanis says: Jul 26, 2013 10:47 PM

    Almost as gimmicky as Cousin Oliver, but really nothing the league can do will make the Pro Bowl any *less* appealing at this point…so why not?

  7. fearthehoody says: Jul 26, 2013 10:47 PM

    Do they got dropped off on a deserted island and compete for food & tools before or after the game??

  8. vikingsrulez69 says: Jul 26, 2013 10:47 PM

    I say it has officially jumped the shark.

  9. petehemlock says: Jul 26, 2013 10:49 PM

    Sounds OK I guess. I think the game should be very casual and personable. The players should wear no pads, no helmets, and sort of play pitch-and-catch two hand touch or something. I think it’s more important to see the players’ faces having fun celebrating their success than to see a half-hearted exhibition game. I can see it getting crazy like defensive linemen throwing water balloons at the QBs and endzones could be pools of water. I mean the current format clearly isn’t working so work it the other way. Make it a fun, casual celebration. No bruising.

  10. nje22 says: Jul 26, 2013 10:52 PM

    Yet another yank off to get us to spend money, under that format how many guys even play?

  11. illogic87 says: Jul 26, 2013 10:52 PM

    I’d watch that

  12. donth8thehorns says: Jul 26, 2013 10:53 PM

    Much. Better than the previous way

  13. nje22 says: Jul 26, 2013 10:53 PM

    Two fans, omg the access, that makes me care

  14. slammincamnewton says: Jul 26, 2013 10:54 PM

    Oh so you mean what the NHL does?

  15. antalicus says: Jul 26, 2013 10:57 PM

    100 bucks says the fans gets to play as a kickers.

  16. j0esixpack says: Jul 26, 2013 10:58 PM

    I don’t have the time to read complex new rules about choosing Pro Bowl players!

    It’s the friggen Pro Bowl. Anyone who deserves to be there doesn’t go.

    Now if they have the worst NFL team play the best college team – THAT I’ll watch. That should also cure anyone taking it like the Colts did, knowing that they’ll face potential humiliation if they lose.

    Talk about reality TV – the ratings will be incredible!

  17. tyler4richardson says: Jul 26, 2013 10:58 PM

    The fans will have cleaner blood than the players.

  18. badkarma56 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:00 PM

    That would be friggen Awesome! I’ll take a trip to Hawaii for a week to meet the best players the NFL has, As long as it is on the NFL’s dime. why not? It surely couldn’t make the pro bowl worse! At least this way a few average Joe’s get to live and mingle with the NFL Elite…i like it!

  19. AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Jul 26, 2013 11:02 PM


    Nothing is going to make the Pro Bowl interesting as long as the players themselves don’t care about it.

  20. gromit45 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:03 PM

    I would imagine the players would want no involvement in this charade. They wouldn’t even be playing for conference bragging rights. What play would want to be just a “fantasy” commodity.

  21. blacknole08 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:07 PM

    How about the head coach for the game from each respective conference and top voted offensive and defensive players just choose the teams?

    Or the coaches just choose the reserves like in baseball and the fans vote in the starters.

    Those are the guys who will be apart of the actual game.

  22. patswillreign says: Jul 26, 2013 11:08 PM

    After all probowlers are selected they should have an online draft between the Coach of the Year and the fans. We “the fans” get to vote for our teams head coach. The online draft would be a live voting poll for the fans.

  23. braddavery says: Jul 26, 2013 11:09 PM

    Sounds convoluted and ridiculous.

  24. don2074978 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:10 PM

    This should be a one season deal and then “subject to review”

  25. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Jul 26, 2013 11:10 PM

    Good idea actually. I’d check it out. They played decent last year.

  26. marvsleezy says: Jul 26, 2013 11:13 PM

    Whenever the New York Times uses an anonymous source they give a reason why the source needed to remain anonymous. You might consider adopting that policy as well.

  27. sc711 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:18 PM

    What I am interested in is a developmental league so I don’t have to go 6 months without football.

    1) In November expand practice squads to 15 players per team.

    2) Have the teams represent the divisions, for instance AFC West vs AFC East. Teams obviously would be 60 players.

    3) Although the teams are abroad there would still be great interest back in the States. So…..TV revenue would pay for the whole damn thing.

  28. jagwires says: Jul 26, 2013 11:18 PM

    This is the first change to the game in years that would actually be a good decision.

  29. therealraider says: Jul 26, 2013 11:20 PM

    The problem is the game is still meaningless.

  30. brad9000 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:23 PM

    I vote: still couldn’t care less. Football is not a game that lends itself to an all-star game. Do we really expect players of such an injury conducive sport to go all out for a game that means nothing? I say we change it to something like an all conference team in college where they get voted into it as an accolade without the risk of ending their career in a meaningless game

  31. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 26, 2013 11:25 PM

    I prefer this, actually I love this. Instead of the AFC vs the NFC, we get the All-Pro game. One with integrated polls of both players and participates.

  32. dacoolnamesweretaken says: Jul 26, 2013 11:28 PM

    It would definitely be more interesting, but that isn’t saying much considering the current state of the probowl.

  33. dirk504 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:29 PM

    Idea is stupid. Guys aren’t gonna play seriously in a game that doesn’t count and risk injury… no matter who’s selected. Deal with it.

  34. waldoampere says: Jul 26, 2013 11:30 PM

    Please put this game out of its misery before it’s turned into a WWE event.

  35. cartire says: Jul 26, 2013 11:32 PM

    Well, we turn a joke of a game into a bigger joke. Thats the best way to improve it…. /sarcasm.

  36. Slim Charles says: Jul 26, 2013 11:33 PM

    It would be better if they included two fans in the actual Pro Bowl. Who doesn’t want to see a kid get leveled by a safety across the middle?

  37. howintensive says: Jul 26, 2013 11:37 PM

    Way to take the NHL’s idea.

  38. elwaysagenius says: Jul 26, 2013 11:40 PM

    I would prefer to see two top-tier players from the NFL select the teams on their own, I don’t want fans drafting it.

  39. daabsolute1 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:42 PM

    NFL! Making meaningless games even more meaningless…since forever!

  40. bossbertozzi says: Jul 26, 2013 11:44 PM

    Guess I’m doing nfl fantasy football this year

  41. cush2push says: Jul 26, 2013 11:48 PM

    this seems like a great idea if they’re gonna play a flag football with the fans

  42. dadeyemi says: Jul 26, 2013 11:49 PM

    This is a stupid idea

  43. contra74 says: Jul 26, 2013 11:50 PM


  44. sleeper692 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:11 AM

    You left off the choice, “I’m planning on having severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea which will still be better than watching any iteration of the Pro (but don’t hurt me) Bowl.”

  45. seabronco says: Jul 27, 2013 12:12 AM

    Awful. Keep it even NFC vs AFC

  46. andyandsheila22 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:22 AM

    The reason the Pro Bowl isn’t watched is not because of all the “fresh ideas” from the above article. The reasons are that the rules don’t allow players to actually do the things that got them selected to the game, AND the players don’t want to get hurt in a game that means nothing. How to solve it…I don’t know.

  47. hjworton46 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:22 AM

    Reading the headline, I had momentary visions of fans playing in the pro-bowl…actually, that’s not a bad idea….

  48. tfbuckfutter says: Jul 27, 2013 12:23 AM

    I will admit that I am impressed the NFL deemed the unpopularity of the Pro-Bowl being based on how the Pro Bowl rosters are picked, and not on the fact that there aren’t extra Pro-Bowl games being played every year, some internationally.

  49. camdenyard says: Jul 27, 2013 12:24 AM

    This is a complete joke at this point. Dump it and move on.

  50. geniusesq says: Jul 27, 2013 12:24 AM

    These are actually good ideas. Corny. But good.

  51. donnymacjack says: Jul 27, 2013 12:33 AM

    The LAST thing I want to see is players for my favorite team on opposite teams in the so-called Pro Bowl.

  52. blueberrymuffin11 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:40 AM


  53. greenmeattruck says: Jul 27, 2013 12:41 AM

    You’ve still gotta get these lazy idiots to play hard, and this won’t change anything.

    Here’s an idea :one of the most important job of any head coach in the league is to single out those who are “sandbagging it”.
    Give the coach a salary cap, let him decide who gets paid and who doesn’t AFTER the game is played, and let him keep any money leftover, and the winning coach and team get a flat bonus across the board.

  54. as8795 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:52 AM

    Dear Roger Goodell,

    Do you want to make this an exciting and intense game where the players give it everything they got? Simple, all players are guaranteed $100,000 to play and each member of the winning team receives $10,000,000.

    Sincerely yours,


  55. fazzle1 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:54 AM

    These changes dont really affect the game itself, which will still be the same embarassing sham with nobody giving an ounce of effort. If they dont care when its supposedly about showing conference supremacy, will they really care when its “Do it for PhinsPhanMarino_1313!” ?

  56. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 27, 2013 12:54 AM

    God help us all.

  57. notoriousjebus says: Jul 27, 2013 1:03 AM

    Why don’t they add a skills competition. CBS used to have a battle of the qb’s they should incorporate it into the roster of pro bowl events, because that stars and retired players flag football game is an absolute zero.

  58. contra74 says: Jul 27, 2013 1:12 AM

    How does this improve the effort during the game?

  59. fballguy says: Jul 27, 2013 1:13 AM

    A Pro Bowl team picked by the fans isn’t a Pro Bowl team…it’s a popularity contest and those don’t make for good TV.

  60. nfl4days says: Jul 27, 2013 1:15 AM

    OOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRR, put the pro bowl AFTER the Super Bowl and give the players some real incentive to play an actual games. The whole player draft is cool and all, but if the effort isn’t their it’s meaningless. If you can’t do that, just send the players on some sort of vacation where they can play a pickup game or something. I realize the whole pro bowl experience is really important for the players, especially younger ones, so I’m not for it getting cancelled completely.

  61. waitstop says: Jul 27, 2013 1:15 AM

    aside from the two fans being part of it, which is just blatant marketing to get more ffl teams to use their site, this sounds like a much more interesting event. I don’t think I’ve watched a pro bowl in 20 years, but I might at least watch the draft.

  62. bledee10 says: Jul 27, 2013 1:28 AM

    The selection process would be interesting for a year or two in a car-wreck sort of way. Like bad reality TV. But the game is still meaningless and devoid of real excitement. Comes off as a gimmick, almost cheapens it further.

  63. whooligun says: Jul 27, 2013 1:34 AM

    Just give the people what they want. Lose the game and make it a skills competition.

  64. xx4zu1 says: Jul 27, 2013 1:53 AM

    The Probowl kinda feels like the Grammy, Emmys and all the other awards given to actors that already make millions of dollars. The players are already handsomely rewarded for their performance so it’s just basically icing on the cake. Last year practice squad players made $5700 a week. Do a little more than add 2 fans to the mix and it may draw more interest. The NFL has over 2 millions subscribers to just the Sunday Ticket add in season ticket Holders, Single game ticket purchasers and all the other fans and 2 people are irrelevant. Figure out a way to make it 53 fans per team then whittle down that fan base to 22 per team and you might get a lot more people interested. By making it just for people that play fantasy football that excludes a lot of fans that pump many more dollars into the game.

  65. skinsfan91 says: Jul 27, 2013 3:14 AM

    I like the “Player Selection Draft”.

  66. fievel03 says: Jul 27, 2013 4:09 AM

    It all still means………. nothing.

  67. sikoix says: Jul 27, 2013 4:27 AM

    This would be fantastic. Kind of like a fantasy football championship but played for real. would beat the pants off the current boring format.

  68. unfkwthabl says: Jul 27, 2013 4:44 AM

    I would like to see a game between maybe under 25 year old pro bowlers vs HOFs or at least guys thats been out of the league for a few years.

    Would give us a chance to see if the new guys can learn a few tricks from the older cats.

    would be cool to see Jerry Rice catch a TD from Rodgers over Sherman lol

  69. scottieplongballs says: Jul 27, 2013 5:09 AM

    Daaaammmnnn! That would be some serious changes. But that is exactly what the pro bowl needs. I think “The Players Game” fits the bill. And giving it a Fantasy Football feel gives us freaks some real interest. The one problem i still see is that the players still probably won’t play 100% but then again a set up like this might get the competitive juices flowing a bit more.

  70. ChandlerMc says: Jul 27, 2013 5:10 AM

    I love the outside-the-box thinking and I think this is the right direction to go. Although I still don’t think the game should actually be played, this definitely makes the selection process much more interesting. Here’s an idea: pick the teams with the process outlined in the article then partner with EA Sports to play the game and broadcast it as a simulated video game.

  71. sportsmeccabi says: Jul 27, 2013 5:42 AM

    Watch some people rig their league so that they can go pick the teams.

  72. philliampenn says: Jul 27, 2013 6:18 AM

    I think this is a refreshing take on the pro bowl. It kind of reminds me of an NHL all star game. It would be pretty cool to see Peyton Manning chucking passes to Calvin Johnson! The only thing I think needs work is the name of the game. My vote is Probowlamania

  73. mustbechris says: Jul 27, 2013 6:34 AM

    This is stupid and I hate it

  74. greattastelessfilling says: Jul 27, 2013 6:38 AM

    The Pro Bowl stinks. But the little kid in me still thinks it’s cool to see all the different helmets.

  75. gallaghedj311 says: Jul 27, 2013 6:46 AM

    Cool. I don’t care how terrible ratings are though. Or how awful the pro bowl has become. I still watch it. And they seriously need to make it the game after the Super Bowl again. I cared a lot more when I knew the game would be the final NFL game I’d see for 6 months. This way, members of the Super Bowl teams would still have the option of playing too.

  76. seanb20124 says: Jul 27, 2013 6:47 AM

    Maybe a fan should be required to kick the extra PTA

  77. eckertae says: Jul 27, 2013 7:34 AM

    The game stinks. Should be a bunch of drills and contests with an “all-rookie” game. They did that years ago with the skills. QB’s throwing on a course of moving targets. Have kickers play HORSE.

    The NBA does some cool skills stuff for their all-star break. I think people would be more interested in an “NFL’s Fastest Man” contest.

    They also did a alumni game, or beach game I think.

    Do all of that BETWEEN the last week of the playoffs and superbowl on a weeknight.

  78. dietrich43 says: Jul 27, 2013 7:46 AM

    Are they just trying worse ideas, so when they dont change anything, we are relieved?

  79. kingstrup says: Jul 27, 2013 7:49 AM

    Everyone hates tie games. It’s like both teams losing. To solve this we make the Pro Bowl a tie-breaker in tied games between teams from different conferences.

    If NFC defeated AFC in the pro bowl the year before, then this year a tie game between a NFC team and AFC team will have the NFC win and the AFC lose.

    Takes care of some useless ties.
    It gives the players something to play for in the pro bowl, as their regular team could benefit from a win.
    It might help make fans vote for the best players, not just fan favorites and own players.

  80. justintuckrule says: Jul 27, 2013 8:26 AM

    Don’t whine. Vote with your eyes and DON’T WATCH

  81. dtlb58 says: Jul 27, 2013 8:30 AM

    I LOVE football and I still watch the Pro Bowl. But this idea is stupid.

  82. vdogg says: Jul 27, 2013 8:32 AM

    I like the concept but lose the fantasy football points winner part. Some of us have jobs and ya know, like having an actual social life where you talk to real life women not in a chat room….we aren’t locked into our laptops all night…

  83. isphet71 says: Jul 27, 2013 8:39 AM

    Sports are great to watch when the teams that are playing are “all-in.” All star games all suck because the players don’t give everything for a truly meaningless game.

    The game of football arguably suffers the MOST of the professional sports if the players don’t really care about the game. For some reason, it’s not as sacrilegious if baseball, hockey, or basketball guys are out there screwing around in a meaningless game. Those can still be kind of fun to watch what players do when there isn’t much defense happening on the field or ice.

  84. nirvana504 says: Jul 27, 2013 8:39 AM

    Still won’t watch

  85. whiningpatriotfans says: Jul 27, 2013 8:55 AM

    Its going to be a little boring – the whole new england patriots team for the afc and then a mix if nfc players. It will be like a maddon game with the pats winning 77-0.

  86. nananatman says: Jul 27, 2013 8:59 AM

    That sounds stupid. Really really stupid.

  87. 1standlong says: Jul 27, 2013 9:02 AM

    The game will still suck. Let’s have a skills competition and a powder puff game played by NFL cheerleaders. Done.

  88. firstand4ever says: Jul 27, 2013 10:04 AM

    Let’s get the 2 fans on the field as team captains.

  89. stonefish67 says: Jul 27, 2013 10:09 AM

    Boring, no matter what.
    Too much going on to watch that charade

  90. EJ says: Jul 27, 2013 11:48 AM

    Bring back the QB challenge! Instead of playing a pro bowl game, where the players give less than 50%, why not bring in something old?
    QB’s- accuracy, obstacle course, distance.
    RB’s- speed, catching, obstacle course.
    WR/TE- speed, catching, obstacle course.
    O-lineman- strength, blocking obstacle course.
    D-lineman- strength, obstacle course.
    LB’s- strength, obstacle course, catching.
    DB’s- speed, catching, obstacle course.
    K,P- kicking contests.
    Coaches- take the wonderlic.

    Problem solved!

  91. tonyc920 says: Jul 27, 2013 12:08 PM

    Just cancel the damn thing already.
    Until the NFL offers 10 times what they pay the winners / losers, these guys are not going to risk injury.
    You can’t reinvent the wheel.

  92. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Jul 27, 2013 1:17 PM

    Viewship Focus Group Replys Needed: What will those fans who are picked do? 1. Be Gatorade servants? 2. Be interviewed by some busty sideline reporter as they are controlling the players minds through Madden 2013 microchips in their helmets. 3. Be suited up & used as sacrificial running back dummies to see which team can cause the most grotesque injury for slow-mo review?

    I choose #3. Definately watch for that!

  93. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 27, 2013 4:04 PM

    I think a game played by the team’s mascots would actually be more entertaining.

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