Pro Bowl still attracts thousands at the stadium, millions on TV

Plenty of people think the Pro Bowl is such a lousy exhibition game that the NFL ought to scrap it. Here’s why the NFL will do no such thing: Plenty of fans still enjoy it.

Here at University of Phoenix Stadium, there are very few empty seats and tens of thousands of fans who seem to be having a good time. Cardinals fans dominate (the three most common jerseys I’ve seen are Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson and Pat Tillman), but a quick look at the crowd reveals jerseys representing just about every team in the NFL. And they seem to be enjoying themselves. A great Odell Beckham catch drew a loud ovation, and even during the commercial breaks fans are laughing and cheering as mascots from a dozen or so teams engage in their usual mascot buffoonery. (There were loud cheers while mascots played musical chairs during a commercial break, then even louder cheers when some mascot-on-mascot violence broke out and the Patriots’ mascot took the brunt of it.)

The fans also enjoyed the opportunity to do some booing: When the Seahawks’ Pro Bowlers (who aren’t playing in the game because they’re preparing for the Super Bowl) were shown on the big screen, the crowd booed loudly. Putting Richard Sherman’s face on the screen seemed to draw particular ire from the fans.

And, of course, the TV ratings will be strong, as they always are. In fact, the Pro Bowl frequently draws bigger television audiences than the baseball, basketball and hockey All-Star games.

So while the NFL may continue to tinker with the format, make no mistake: The Pro Bowl is here to stay.

98 responses to “Pro Bowl still attracts thousands at the stadium, millions on TV

  1. Yes Tillman, you know the guy who put his life on the line for his country, not the guy who sat on his computer trolling football websites…

  2. Send the pro-bowl to London after the superbowl and play the regular season games where they are supposed to be.

    I flipped through the channels and landed on the game for 5 minutes or so. Just long enough to realize that the horrid uniforms/numbers are hard to see. I suppose they will count that as well as the multiple TVs in every sports bar. The numbers are inflated. Saying they are all fans is misleading. Some folks will watch anything. Many tune in to confirm that it is still a train wreck no matter what the players do

  3. For those who complain and say you don’t watch it… I ask…. What exactly are you doing instead of watching football? If your answer is… having fun with the wife or…. woodworking in my shop or… working on my car in the garage, those guys are excused. For the rest of you who are playing candy crush or watching reality TV… screw off!

  4. It’s very simple. If you don’t want to watch it, than don’t. Nobody’s forcing u to. Theres no reason to complain about it.

  5. The fact that anyone would question fans showing up with a Tillman jersey, is absolutely reprehensible. That man WAS a warrior, a soldier, a man who gave his life to stand up for the ideas he believed in. His death was a tragedy… And should be remembered each and every day as a sacrifice and the patriot he was. Why have you done for our nation that gives you the right to criticize?

  6. Lamest.Halftime.Show ever.
    #whoaretheseclowns.
    What do they keep pointing at? It’s like watching the old “Gong Show”.

  7. realnflmaster= Ravens fan trolling as a fake Steelers fan. Tillman is pretty damn cool if he’s willing to serve and be an NFL player after he did his country a great service.

  8. This fiasco will have better ratings than the World Series.

    While I think the pro-bowl is a joke, but this actually makes me happy.

    If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s those utterly sanctimonious “baseball-is-better-than-football” fans who still bust out phrases like “the sanctity of the game” and “our national pastime” when referring to their favorite sport.

  9. OK so no one likes the usual Pro Bowl Unis so lets make these as ugly as possible. But not good ugly, more “we’ll have to ship the bulk of these marketing rags to a third world country because we can’t sell them to even the biggest sucker” ugly.

  10. The Unis…. I think I see one of them with “He Hate Me” on it… that’s the NFL. only they could make Oregon Ducks uni’s look better.

    js

  11. If they want better ratings, the first thing they can do is get Gruden’s face off my screen and stop showing sideline interviews with players who aren’t playing while the game is in progress. Basically, my complaints are not with the Pro Bowl, their with the terrible job ESPN is known for.

  12. Here’s my idea for the Pro Bowl. On one side, put the season’s best players who got voted in. On the other side, put a bunch of guys who aren’t even on NFL rosters (the “All-Unemployed Team”), who have nothing to lose, trying to show that they have something. I would love to watch NFL stars loafing and avoiding injuries against Tebow and Terrell Owens trying their hardest.

  13. The only entertainment I have seen during this game is watching Michael Irvin on the sidelines. Dude looks like he put up the deed to his home on this game. Every time you see him he is sweatin’ the players on his team

  14. Giancarlo Stanton gets over 300 million guaranteed, Peyton Manning gets 60 million, you tell me what league is better?

  15. “Serving your country” is the biggest piece of propaganda in this history of mankind. Too many innocents were killed for nothing over that laughable concept.

  16. It’s comedy hearing the Microsoft Seahawks talk about conflict of interest. How about Microsoft being an official product of the NFL?

    One thing is for sure. This will be the CHEATIEST Super Bowl ever played.

  17. The Pro Bowl is, by far, the WORST all-star game in professional sports.

    No one wants to play.
    No one wants to get injured.
    No one has enough time to learn any kind of offense/defense.

    The whole thing should be replaced by a skills competition: fastest 40/100 yd dash, weight lifting, passing accuracy, obstacle course, etc. Like the old “Superstars” competition of the 70s/80s.

    That, I would love to watch.

    p.s. Andy Dalton?

  18. “And, of course, the TV ratings will be strong, as they always are.”

    This will likely be the lowest-rated Pro Bowl in years, perhaps in history.

    It wasn’t broadcasted this year, because ESPN now has exclusive rights to the game…which means, just like TNF on CBS saw a huge gain of eyeballs over exclusively pay-TV viewers, we will see a huge drop in eyeballs compared to last year because the Pro Bowl is only on pay-TV.

    This is your future, NFL fans. A few weeks ago, for the first time you couldn’t watch a playoff game unless you paid for it; you can no longer watch the Pro Bowl unless you pay for it; and once the current contracts with broadcast networks expire, you likely won’t watch any game unless you pay for it.

  19. realnflmaster says:
    Jan 25, 2015 10:49 PM
    “Serving your country” is the biggest piece of propaganda in this history of mankind. Too many innocents were killed for nothing over that laughable concept.
    ——————————————————————–
    Pretty sure the biggest piece of propaganda in the (not this) history of mankind is religion not nationalism.

  20. tokyosandblaster says:
    Jan 25, 2015 10:28 PM
    These Vikings players in the Pro Bowl are KILLING it!
    —-
    Good luck in the super bowl next week. Oh wait…the packers we’re only 2 minutes away from the win with a 12 point lead yet they couldn’t finish the fight. Epic game though. They keep replaying this epic collapse on Comedy Central. Thanks for the laughs packer fans.

  21. Andy Dalton 3,398 yds 19 td’s 17 int 83.5 rating

    Ryan Tannehill 4,045 yds 27 td’s 12 int 92.3 rating

    Why is Andy Dalton in the Pro Bowl?

    I mean really, it’s bad enough that the format is so lame & funky now, but at least have players in it who deserve to be there more than others.

  22. People booed the seahawks so much during the interviews you couldnt hear a word they were saying. Willie mcginist was crackin up. Classic.

  23. realnflmaster says:
    Jan 25, 2015 10:49 PM
    “Serving your country” is the biggest piece of propaganda in this history of mankind. Too many innocents were killed for nothing over that laughable concept.
    ==============
    Yea remember where you were when that second 9-11 type attack occurred?

    Of course you don’t and you can thank those putting their arse on the line in little hell holes around the world a dweeb like you would just piss in his pants the moment he stepped off the plane.

    See a service man – next time just say thank you.

    (Yea I know you are a troll, no need to remind us.)

  24. contra74 says:
    Jan 25, 2015 11:16 PM
    tokyosandblaster says:
    Jan 25, 2015 10:28 PM
    These Vikings players in the Pro Bowl are KILLING it!
    —-
    Good luck in the super bowl next week. Oh wait…the packers we’re only 2 minutes away from the win with a 12 point lead yet they couldn’t finish the fight. Epic game though. They keep replaying this epic collapse on Comedy Central. Thanks for the laughs packer fans.

    ——

    No one on the Vikings squad played after the regular season. That has to be so demoralizing. Not one probowler, even after 25 people dropped out. That means the Vikings didn’t have a player in the top 100 players in the league.

    How hilariously sad.

  25. Yeah, I tuned in. Then I watched Empire came back and watched the last minute. Michael Irvin looks like he can still play. He has a lot of fire that I don’t see much in games anymore.

  26. this surprises me. if it was still on abc i could understand, but it’s on espn, just like everything else these days. i cancelled cable years ago. i thought more and more people were doing this, but I must be wrong. I don’t regret it at all. but, it was so disappointing this year to find that all the good college bowl games were ALL on espn. no games worth watching were nationally televised. i could have sworn that new years day was round the clock college football on the abc, cbs, etc networks. when did this change? i was looking forward to the college football playoff games, turned on my tv, and a bunch of infomericals were on. no college football. NONE. not even the national championship game was nationally televised. it’s all on espn. it’s ridiculous. if the nfl decides to put the superbowl on espn soon, exclusivley like college football has done, i won’t watch.

  27. I thought the pro bowl game was about all stars players go and play a not so hard football game but what was Andy Dalton doing there? It just doesn’t make any sense.

  28. @realnflmaster, you’re still commenting on here? Didn’t I tell you to quit watching football and start drifting to figure skating. You have no right to be here anymore you troll.

  29. Forgot that it was being played today, then saw it as I was flipping through the channels. Turned it on for a few minutes and saw Andy Dalton vs. Matt Ryan and figured there was a programming error. Clearly a game featuring Dalton and Ryan couldn’t be the Pro Bowl. So, instead I watched reruns of Ridiculousness.

  30. Somehow I am seriously doubting it ‘attracted millions on tv.’…. They NEED this to work because they LOVE the revenue from the game but it’s not working people. I’m a die hard football fan and I didn’t watch a second of this game… the NFL puts out false stories on a regular basis… they believe in the Lemmings …

  31. Just got home from my first Pro Bowl game and got to experience it with my 14 yr old son. Wasn’t sure if I’d like it or want to head out at half time to beat traffic. We enjoyed it for what it was and had a blast. All that talent in one place being recognized and having fun. Honestly a lot of the best stuff was probably not even on TV…it was the players hamming it up and interacting with fans and each other during breaks in play. JJ Watt is hilarious, and had the crowd roaring again and again with both his play and his dance moves. Started slow with no tackling, but in the second half in a close game you could see the guys getting competitive. Was interesting seeing things like a Packer lining up vs. a Packer. We found ourselves not cheering for one team or the other, but for good plays made by either team’s offense or defense and for the light-hearted stuff in between.

  32. Pro bowl? What the heck is the pro bowl? Just the rich getting richer on the idiots who watch this crap or even go to the game, even if the tickets are free!

  33. As long as the Packers have McJoke as their coach this, sadly, will be the only bowl game they will ever get to play in.

  34. Went to the game, and had team Carter at -2.5. Everything was great until Andy Dalton came on the field. How do you play that badly in a game where it’s literally made for offenses to score 50+. I mean, they called a penalty for blitzing. Thanks for screwing me out of my parlay, Andy!

  35. I’m one of those fans who enjoys the Pro Bowl. I like football, high school, college, pro or just playing a pick-up game in the yard. If I wasn’t stationed in Japan, I’d hit up the PB again. If you don’t care for it, don’t watch. Apparently some watched the whole thing and complained, didn’t watch it and complained, saw SportsCenter highlights and complained so seems like there’s just a group who likes to complain about it no matter what. Enjoy life bros, it’s the only one we have.

  36. I do have a couple of complaints – the uniforms look like the players barfed all over themselves, and the game is on too late. There’s nothing on TV in January, what’s wrong with having this game start at 5 or 6 PM EST so everyone from NC to Hawaii can watch the whole game? It ends awfully late for people with a 5 AM wake-up call on Monday.

    But the game has gotten better the last 2 years. And now we have even more proof that Greg Olsen is just as good a TE as Jimmy Graham and Gronk.

  37. I honestly didn’t even know the game was on. I thought it was always the weeks after the Super Bowl. I was watching NBA basketball instead.

  38. I like the new format. The game seemed pretty competitive. It was entertaining. Irvin was clearly into it LOL!

    I think the idea of playing it in or near NFL cities which already have a football fan base and or taking it to metropolitan areas that want a football team is a sound one. Id keep it in warm weather areas though for the players families to enjoy.

    Couldnt miss this one since Michael Irvin had the good sense to create Team Cowboys) and they won.

  39. Was at the game and it was a blast. Fans were having a great time. More of an NFL party feel. Different than a regular game but fun.
    Tillman is the most common jersey at every Cardinal game. Absolutely positively blown away that there are people out there that do not appreciate what he did.

  40. I didn’t watch it but I took the “Under.” Winna Winna chicken dinna! Shhhh, don’t tell Furher Goodell I bet on the game.

  41. Of course people are going to show up at the Stadium. It has more to do with the fact there are NFL players there than the “Pro Bowl”. It would be full if the players just walked around for 3 hours.

    It’s the dumbest all-star event in sports. I don’t blame players for not putting 100% effort in when there is a good chance of injury because of the physicality. No one should take a chance of ruining their career for a game that is so meaningless.

    I haven’t watched the Pro Bowl in years and do not plan on ever watching again.

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