Change is coming to the Pro Bowl and it goes way beyond the schoolyard draft-esque way that teams will be chosen in the future.
There will be two-minute warnings added to the first and third quarters of the game with the ball turning over to the defensive team at their 25-yard line at the start of the next quarter regardless of down, distance or anything else. According to the league’s announcement of the changes to the Pro Bowl, the move was made to “increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct “two-minute drills,” which are especially exciting for fans.”
Indeed they are, especially when run by quarterbacks and wide receivers who play well enough to wind up in the Pro Bowl. There’d also be a strategic element that could lead to long field goal tries or intentional turnovers thanks to the automatic turnover of the ball come the end of the half. One wonders just how the league would handle a fumble that players on both teams refuse to pick up because it would actually cost their team possession of the ball when the next quarter begins and we might get a chance to find out.
This change, along with the elimination of kickoffs and other tweaks to the operation of the clock, appear to be designed at addressing the lack of competitiveness of the game by deemphasizing the competitiveness of the game. More two-minute drills and risk taking at the end of quarters may not resemble anything close to the football played every other weekend, but it could be more compelling than the dull games we’ve grown accustomed to paying little attention to over the years.