The people have spoken. And regardless of what they really said, the NFL will be getting rid of the traditional Pro Bowl structure, dumping the AFC and NFC teams for a fantasy draft format.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the change has now officially been made, and it will be used for the first time in early 2014.
Schefter also reports that Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as draft captains for the two teams. This meshes with our recent item regarding a fan survey that explained the teams would be chosen by two retired players, the player getting the most Pro Bowl fan votes on offense, the player getting the most Pro Bowl fan votes on defense, and the two fans getting the highest score in NFL.com fantasy football.
It’s unclear whether the final proposal will include the two fans who generate the highest scores in fantasy football at NFL.com. (But the league nevertheless would like you to sign up for fantasy football at NFL.com.)
Per Schefter, the Pro Bowl also will eliminate kickoffs, as a safety measure. In our view, whatever the league uses as an alternative could end up being the thing that eventually replaces kickoffs for all games.
So there it is. And when we asked for input last week on this potential change, nearly 40 percent of those who responded indicated no interest in the changes.
Which likely means that the TV ratings will only double.