Players are taking the Pro Bowl bait

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has huffed and puffed and threatened to pull the plug on the Pro Bowl.

The players apparently are now willing to take the risk of blowing their own bodies down.

At a time when it has become accepted as true that another game of full-padded touch football will result in the end of the Pro Bowl as we know it (and I feel fine), the players apparently plan to play hard.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who doesn’t have to worry about losing $40 million guaranteed over the next two years thanks to a full-speed blitzing linebacker because no blitzing is allowed, reportedly has implored the players to provide full effort in order to keep Goodell from canceling the game.

This presumes that Goodell would really do it.  We don’t think he will.  Because regardless of the warts, people watch it, more than any other major-league all-star game.  And more will watch it this year, because people will want to see just how bad it really is.

Regardless, the idea that a player who really doesn’t have to worry about getting injured in the game would goad the men who are risking their bones and tendons and ligaments is a tough one to swallow.  These players have made it through a full regular season (and, for some, one or more postseason games) healthy enough to suit up and play one more game.  Why risk an injury that would require them to recover from surgery and engage in rehab activities when they otherwise would be enjoying time away from the game?

For pending free agents, like Dolphins defensive lineman Randy Starks and Bills safety Jairus Byrd and Giants receiver Victor Cruz (restricted), suffering a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles tendon will result in plenty of money being lost as well.

So there’s no good reason for players to treat the game like a real game.  And anyone who suggests otherwise is willing to gamble with someone else’s livelihood.

If that means there should be no Pro Bowl, so be it.  But as long as we watch it, it’s not going anywhere.

96 responses to “Players are taking the Pro Bowl bait

  1. The Pro Bowl’s not going anywhere, its a money maker.

    If you got beef with the game’s quality, watch something else or better yet go get some exercise.

    The Pro Bowl is an exhibition for entertainment value only. If you ever watched a Harlem Globetrotters game expecting to see the NBA Finals you’ve got real problems.

  2. I haven’t watched that game in at least 20 years. But I love it that people do watch it because when the ratings come in I know just how many people to point and laugh at.

  3. Completey agreed. First, they put in all these rules like no blitzing, no rushing kicks, etc., to take away risk of injury…guess what, youre just admitting the game is dangerous.

    So for a game that doesnt count, that could ruin their offseason (or their careers), it doesnt make sense to play hard. Go there, enjoy the free trip to hawaii, don’t get hurt, and enjoy the offseason.

  4. If the players don’t want to play they shouldn’t go. They can just have themselves listed as injured like Brady and Welker.

    If you don’t want to play let someone else go who will play.

    I don’t really expect a free safety to send some receiver out of the game on a stretcher in the Pro Bowl. It doesn’t bother me if they pull it back one step, but last years Pro Bowl was a joke with the people in the stands often booing loudly.

    Just step it up a little at least.

  5. After last year, I’m not watching the Pro Bowl. College basketball is much more compelling and that’s what I’ll be watching. Shoot, my soccer referee exam–which I will take this weekend–will be much more compelling than the Pro Bowl.

  6. People watch it because it’s one of the last glimpses of NFL football (real or not) for the year. If the Pro Bowl was held in the middle of the year, like say MLB, would anyone care to watch?

    Just announce All Pro teams then play a flag football game with every player miced up.

  7. Make the NFL Guarantee a franchise players years salary in the event of a pro bowl injury. I wouldn’t risk a penny of my money for a meaningless game, just so the NFL can sell a few commercials, at my expense. It should be an honor to make the pro bowl, but it’s apparently not. The dead horse is ringing a bell here, SKILLS COMPETITION! That would make us fans happy, and would not take a toll on players bodies. I want to see a jaw jacking contest, I bet Richard Sherman would win, if he made it out alive! I’m a bust you in you god damn mouth. I want to see cj2k race desean Jackson, and see who could throw the ball the farthest, then a pie eating contest between the offensive, and defensive lineman. Then to top it all off, a Detroit lions specialty, who can get the highest, and have k9 dogs chase them through an obstacle course. Then a car race with Suh, and jimmy Johnson, and the guy from duck dynasty. Man, the possibilities are completely endless!!!!

  8. The pro bowl is a joke. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. Football is the most popular sport in the world and yet the baseball and NBA all star games get WAY higher ratings. Pull the plug Roger. It’s like the NHL. No one would notice.

  9. those of you who won’t watch won’t be missed; the PB had its highest ratings ever last year. The point of the pro bowl is to reward players who gave their all to achieve the highest standard. They can do better on field, and they should do better, so Manning is right about that. But a player like Brees, who felt he should give it his best, injured his elbow pretty badly. That just isn’t smart.

  10. Until there is some form of benefit for winning or penalty for losing, the game will continue to be irrelevant and the players and fans will continue not to care, as it was in baseball until 2003.

  11. Every year the same thing happens. At some point during the day I remember the Pro Bowl is on. I turn it on and watch for about 2 plays, and then I get bored so I change the channel. Are there people who actually watch the whole game?

  12. For a lot of fans who are trying to stave off post football season depression, the Probowl is kinda like a light dessert after a full course gourmet Superbowl extravaganza before beginning a long fast. I’ll watch it and love every minute of it, good, bad or otherwise and appreciate the opportunity to see some of my favorite players one last time! Roger Goodell should think about getting a hobby and leave traditions alone.

  13. Couldn’t they figure out a way to involve an insurance company in the pro-bowl to underwrite players at a group discount?

  14. Is anything more boring than watching the Pro Bowl?

    Get a life (!)

    I would rather watch a Gilligan’s Island re-run than be subject to phantom tackles and half-hearted exertion.

    Half the players won’t need a shower after the game.

  15. That’s what I hate about QBs like him and Rodgers complaining about effort in the Pro Bowl. Their position is almost untouchable in a REAL game these days, what do they have to worry about in an exhibition?

  16. I know I will get a lot of dislikes but I would love to the 7 on 7… That has grown and I think that would be a lot of fun to watch.

  17. Here’s an idea… if you’re worried about getting injured, don’t play. You can hurt yourself in the courtesy of your own home slipping on a McDonalds bag or getting the newspaper from your driveway just as easily. Or so I’ve heard.

  18. Didn’t they used to have a bunch of “hit this target strapped to a golf cart with a chalked football” and “how far can you throw it?” type games? Just show those for a weekend and cancel the game, I’ll watch.

  19. To say the NFL Pro Bowl is the most watched all star game isn’t saying much in terms of viewership. All all star games in my opinion are unwatchable. The Pro Bowl is a waste of time for the viewer!

  20. I’d like to see them keep the Pro Bowl while bringing back the Skills Comp. and Flag Football game. It’s more like a pre-super bowl end of season party that way. Do it Roger!

  21. I get the Hawaii angle but one improvement that comes to mind (and yes it’s just one), is the idea of moving the Pro Bowl to mid to late summer. Get the guys out there prior to Training Camp getting under way. It would get more viewership than it gets today, you could move it to a different NFL city every year (can’t do that during the current Jan timeline due to weather but the alternative could be moving it to all the warm weather locations and those cities with a dome) and it would get the fans excited about the season a little earlier than they already do.

    Now there’s a few quirks like the guys who move around and may not be on the same team at that point as they were when they were voted in but…. do we really care?

    I’m sure there are more holes to punch in the idea but it seems like a start to re-inventing this “game”.

  22. They should just do a skills competition, that way you don’t have the contact aspect of the sport….tightest spiral, foot races, jump ball competition, etc…..or flag football if they insist on a “game”

    Go niners

  23. Because of the possibility of injury, I believe the Probowl is a bad idea. Selecting the players should continue as a way of recognizing the top guys at each position. Maybe include a trip to the islands as part of the deal. But expecting them to play a competitive game is a bad idea. Expecting the fans to be interested in anything less than a competitive game is disrespectful to the fans. Nothing good comes from the way they’re doing it now.

  24. If they want the players to play harder,Maby they could give the winning conf. a higher salery cap for the next season for each team in that conf. Make the game worth something to the players and teams.

  25. Let us not forget that the NFL is taking football to a State that never gets a pro game and a State that is full of young man and women serving our country in all branches of the armed forces.

    I really did not enjoy the game but I loved seeing these player hold pratice at either pearl or one of the other bases and the interaction with our service men and women.
    That in it self is worth the trouble.

    Also it is a reward like a business that holds a sales contest winner gets a trip to the Islands.

    This year it also gives the Mannings a chance to have a family party on the NFL’s dime.

    As everyone is so worried about someone getting a major injury I have to ask has it ever happened?

  26. Thanks for jinxing Cruz. Hopefully he pulls himself from the game because he has a previous soup commercial engagement.

  27. Should you actually watch this Pillow Fight, keep in mind that soon all NFL games will be played with the same lack of intensity.
    You can thank Roger Goodell, Lomas Brown and the Junior Seau family, just to name a few.

  28. They should move the pro bowl back to after the Super Bowl. The Pro bowl also gives us fans here in Hawaii a opportunity to watch a professional sporting event the few in Hawaii has. As a child I went every year to go see my favorite players and loved it. I agree that it has to be a little more competitive but don’t Blame the players for giving up there bodies for a exhibition game. The pro bowl in Hawaii gives the opportunity for local kids to go to football camps and practices and autograph signings many of which will have no other chance to meet there idols as it is to expensive to fly out to the mainland to watch a real game.

  29. People on here need to make their minds up. It’s a big to do when the pro bowl rosters are announced and you have whiny fans screaming “whatttt no alfred morris?!?!” or “how can he make it? this is BS!” throwing a tantrum as if they were making the team themselves. It’s some of the same people commenting how it’s a joke, no one cares and no one watches. If you check the comments when the rosters were announced, they are in the hundreds.

  30. I live in HNL.

    The ProBowl takes over Oahu, great vibes, parties, community work, and a huge source of income for our economy.

    Block parties, autographs, all about the fans.

    Special enviroment and a reward for players, cheerleaders, coaches and NFL organizations.

    Game is a tailgate dream 80’s cool trade winds and lots of crazy fans arguing. Everyone is loaded.

    Game is fun in person.

    If you don’t like it on TV, fly away from your miserable cold city and enjoy 2 weeks of crazyness in person.

    Pro Bowl is legit.

  31. I like the idea of a skills competition for the NFLers and play the senior bowl instead. Cool for the rookies and the vets still get to take the family to Hawaii.

  32. The pro bowl is awful. Haven’t watched it in forever. Football is not meant to be a casual/relaxed game. But that’s all the pro bowl is. Honestly, I’d rather watch pee-wee football than the pro bowl.

  33. It’s an honor. It’s for entertainment. Not competition. I have never met a kid who grew up rooting for a Pro Bowl team.

    Nobody cares who wins, it’s an All Star game.

  34. It seemed like it was a better game when I was a child but then again I was just a little kid.In today’s world it is little more than a total joke,it was just unwatchable last year I had to turn it off and with only one more game remaining all season long that tells you all you need to know

  35. Since we’re on the Pro Bowl topic, can we also stop letting the replacement’s replacement’s replacement write “pro bowler” on their resume? Either that or have them be “third team pro bowler” like with the all-American teams.

  36. They should play in full pads with touch football rules (including the little tags that touch FB has). Seriously. All people want to see in the pro-bowl is guys catching TDs anyhow…

  37. Why not allow blitzing? Goodell is upset that the game isn’t competitive yet they make the rules completely lame and geared towards an offensive game. Why not just play flag football or two hand touch? There really isn’t much incentive for some of the high profile players to play the game. Tom Brady can afford the trip to Hawaii himself. Personally they should change it up and have say 1st and 2nd year players face 3rd yr and up players. Or involve future NFL draftees to play in the game. It is a very boring event they way it is setup now.

  38. I’ve been saying this for the past few years. I’d MUCH rather watch them play golf. And that’s not a joke. I know some of these guys are good golfers, but I’d love to watch some of the 350 pounders swinging golf clubs.

  39. Shorten the quarters to 12 mins and no extra points…just 2 point conversions. No punting after you cross your 40 and only 3 downs to get a first down. Do somethin to add some drama…tweak the game a little.

  40. The Pro Bowl is the Plan 9 from Outer Space of sporting events. It’s bad, I know it’s bad, and I watch it precisely because it’s bad and so do a lot of other people.

  41. I can’t remember the last time a player has suffered a serious injury in the Pro Bowl. That is enough evidence for me that they players aren’t playing hard.

  42. NFL should guaranty Franchise tag money for any player injured in the Pro Bowl that cannot play the following year due to that injury. Regardless of contract status.

  43. They only play half a game, get to go to Hawaii for free, and earn a little extra money. Why not put in a little extra effort? I don’t want them to go full speed, but they shouldn’t be powder puffs either (like the beginning of the game last season).

  44. “And more will watch it this year, because people will want to see just how bad it really is.”

    Hmmm….by that logic we should just make the regular season games crappy too, and then more people will watch to see how bad it really is. Make sense? Obviously not. I last watched the Pro Bowl when Marshall Faulk was a rookie, and I don’t need to keep watching something to know it’s not good entertainement. I am sure it has gone downhill even further in the last 15 years or however long it’s been, and that fact doesn’t somehow compel me to watch it now.

  45. I don’t care what others think, I enjoy watching the Pro Bowl, just like IO watch the MLB All Star Game – not because it is a for-real game, but because it is it’s own thing. I also used to like the chance to hear from the brand new Hall of Famers selected the week before, which is why I wish they would move it back to after the Super Bowl again.

    For those who hate it, fine, don’t watch.

  46. So because Peyton Manning gets players to actually “try” one time out of how many years, they’re going to keep this horrible game around? I won’t be watching, regardless. It’s a waste.

  47. I wonder if all the fines foot the bill for the pro bowl trips,lol if so that must be quite the luxury trip

  48. Me too. Keep the skills competetion but dump the meaningless game. Football isnt hoops where someone can go 360 on you. Whats great about football is the urgency and the passion. Pro bowl has neither. Whats the point. Not worth getting someone hurt.

    “Just move it back to after the superbowl. I dug the skills competitions.”

  49. The best Pro Bowl was the one in Miami. The game should be in the same city as the Super Bowl each year. It allows for a celebration of the season with the players who didn’t make it into the Super Bowl. It gives that city 2 weeks of NFL events.It is a great opportunity for the NFL to show thanks to its fans. Then you cap the season with the Super Bowl, which should be the last game NFL fans see each season. Those two teams deserve to have the final memory of a season.

    The Pro Bowl is not about the game, its about getting to see the best players not in the Super Bowl from that season. The NFL should add a Saturday night skills competition, that would be entertaining. Who doesn’t want to see a QB competition, a fastest man, wr with best hands, a RB skills obstacle course, a strongest man,etc…

  50. Want the players to play harder and not bow out with undisclosed injuries (I’m lookin at you Brady), then the NFL should pay these guys a full game check for participation. Or maybe institute some kind of pay for performance type of system that…oh, wait.

  51. I enjoy the Pro Bowl for what it is. A fun exhibition game. I watch it because I enjoy seeing the NFL’s best players one last time until the looooong off season comes around.
    Also, the NFL should insure the players so if a catastrophic injury happens, the player is covered.

  52. dowhatifeellike says:
    Jan 23, 2013 3:46 PM
    Since we’re on the Pro Bowl topic, can we also stop letting the replacement’s replacement’s replacement write “pro bowler” on their resume? Either that or have them be “third team pro bowler” like with the all-American teams.


    Either this, or make them play to earn the distinction (legit injuries or superbowl aside).

  53. I like skills competitions with $ going to the top 3 contestants. Throwing, catching, obstacle courses, kicking, hard hitting. all players participating should win divisional heats in order to get to hawaii. perhaps a boxing tourney like the old tough man competition, strong man competition, paint ball capture the flag, or my favorite of all…a 7on7 tourney where each division has its own team and declare yearly what the “best division in football is”.

  54. As long as players on Super Bowl teams miss the game due to scheduling, it really isn’t a true all-star game.

  55. “Go there, enjoy the free trip to Hawaii, don’t get hurt, and enjoy the off season.” This was a comment made by a football fan on this comment page.

    I really don’t care if he goes to Hawaii, I don’t care of he enjoys his free trip, I really don’t care of he gets injured and I really don’t care if he enjoys the off season. Enough of treating these people like Gods.

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