Sold-out Pro Bowl means it surely will continue

Getty Images

From time to time, the NFL huffs and puffs about the quality of the Pro Bowl. But the Pro Bowl’s house isn’t going to be blown down any time soon. (Even though it should be.)

This year, the NFL has offered standing-room only tickets at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, site of this year’s All-Star (Some-Star) game. Coupled with the why-am-I-watching?-because-it’s-on-TV audience, the most meaningless of all NFL games will continue to have relevance from a dollars-and-cents standpoint.

For the players, the risk is obvious — and the worst-case scenario played out last year for Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert, who emerged with an ankle injury that lasted through the offseason and lingered into the regular season. While the league is still able to gather up enough players who inexplicably are willing to assume the risk of a similar outcome, the decision of so many to avoid the game makes it something other than a collection of the best players in all of football.

But even without the best players putting forth the best effort, the game will indeed survive because it makes money for the league and its partners. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Still, the league shouldn’t complain about the quality of a game that is destined to have less intensity and competitiveness than a regular-season or postseason contest. If anything, the league should view as a sign of its strength the fact that people will actually pay to attend or devote their free time to watch a football game that may look like real football, but isn’t.

The players have made it through months of practices and games healthy enough to suit up one more time. They shouldn’t be asked to do it again. Name the team, have a dinner, give them a plaque, and just be done with it.

67 responses to “Sold-out Pro Bowl means it surely will continue

  1. With the introduction of drones into the skills competition maybe next year can be an all drone probowl

  2. As long as you round up all the all-stars from each team and give them a chance to interact with fans, people will come. No one will actually watch the game.

  3. Ever since the Colts decided to purposefully throw the remainder of their season, fixing games to “Suck for Luck” I’ve felt that there should be SOME disincentive to be the last place team.

    I say make the last place team in the NFL play the best College team to see just how bad they really are

    I know I’D tune in for such a spectacle… I sure don’t bother watching any of the Pro Bowl, made up of guys not good enough or smart enough to get out of playing that game

  4. i know how to make this interesting…..who ever loses, AFC or NFC, their teams are the ones chosen to play in London

  5. It’s sold out because EVERY player in the league made the Pro Bowl this year. So they had to buy tickets for all their family members.

  6. It beats the Miss Universe contest ( then again, maybe not), and I am addicted to pro football, so I’ll watch it. ( and with a couple of beers, I’ll start to enjoy it , hopefully.)

  7. The game makes money and the selection process creates revenue (ie, online voting, ads leading up to the game, during the game, etc). Still a big money maker and necessary
    The game falls between Championship week and Superbowl week so there is only a perceived weakness of the games draw. It’s a fun event and it makes money. The complaints come from our society’s overall lack of interest in events with attendance below 65,000

  8. People don’t pay to go to that game! They are all comped for kids groups etc… by corporations!! The kids all want to go to see it live, or they will never have a chance to go to a game!! It’s Orlando! maybe they included tickets with your Disney Pass! The game is a joke, not watchable!!

  9. Impressed with the perspective Florio. And surprised that you published it.

    It will be interesting to see what transpires over the years. Just as the NCAA will have more and more difficulty getting their NFL bound players to play in Bowl games, there’s not much incentive for good NFL players to risk injury in the Pro Bowl. NFL owners however, are between a rock and a soft spot in their hearts ie money. If attendance and viewership drops because of low level talent, does Goodell start forcing key players to play if nobody volunteers just like selecting which team gets featured in HBO’s Hard Knocks or which team has to play in London ie no choice or you are suspended.
    Then watch and see who sits for the National Anthem. And it won’t have anything to do with BLM.

  10. I would honestly like to see a whole WWE card of 5 on 5 survivor series style pro wrestling matches between pro bowlers. that would be way more entertaining.

  11. if the league really cared about player safety, they wouldn’t have them playing the pro bowl so soon after their dodge ball game.

  12. maiphatdong says:
    Jan 28, 2017 9:14 PM
    i know how to make this interesting…..who ever loses, AFC or NFC, their teams are the ones chosen to play in London
    ———————
    Dude, given the usually poor quality of the teams sent to London, and that the best teams are busy with CG & SB games, and given many other top players don’t go for some excuse or other, in effect that’s virtually already what happens now.

  13. In what major sport does a game that doesn’t count against the teams standing bring out all the competition in pros? (None) That’s why it’s called a professional All-Star game. It’s a showcase of the best who have already proven they’re the best of their particular sport. A Showcase of talent. Fans of their teams with players present will enjoy it. How about you?

  14. The Pro Bowl is fine just the way it is the week before the Super Bowl. It gives the league and fans one last opportunity to put the spotlight on individual players and their accomplishments this past season. It’s a fun game,doesn’t need to be competitive. The league puts a pretty little bow on those players and moves on to the final game putting all of the attention on those two franchises.

  15. It should just be turned into a flag football game, that’s basically what it’s become anyways and it would sure cut down on injuries and attract more of the top players. Probably would also be much more fun for players and entertaining for the fans.

  16. They should take a page from baseball and make the winning conference the home team for the SB. I realize this is idiotic, and was when baseball did it, but given the quality of NFL management, I think they might go for it.

  17. swaynesworld says:
    Jan 28, 2017 10:59 PM
    In what major sport does a game that doesn’t count against the teams standing bring out all the competition in pros? (None) That’s why it’s called a professional All-Star game. It’s a showcase of the best who have already proven they’re the best of their particular sport. A Showcase of talent. Fans of their teams with players present will enjoy it. How about you?————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Thanks for laugh, you just called the Pro Bowl a showcase of the best. I guess you do not pay attention to who is playing. They are down to 4th, 5th and 6th alternate at some position.

  18. What really upsets me are all of the loser degenerates that bet on the game. The line at the sportsbook to bet on the game last year was so long I almost didn’t get my bet on the AFC in before kickoff.

  19. 8pm start!?!? Who in their right mind would stay up till midnight watching a meaningless game?

    it should be a 1:00 game. the nfl is retarded. it would double the ratings.

  20. Moving the game to Orlando was a brilliant decision. Combining a week of the nations favorite sport with the nations number one family vaction destination. Everbody wins.

  21. It’s appropriate being close to DisneyWorld since all of this is a bit Goofy.

    That said, how about a winner take all purse at some ridiculous level that would benefit a charity? Make the game mean something to someone.

  22. “Sold out”

    I do not think it means what you think it means when it comes to stadiums and sports and most relevantly, the Pro Bowl.

    Unless you’re referring to the NFL having sold out to ad revenue and corporate profits over the game and player safety.

  23. Been watching NFL football since the Bears gave Y.A. Tittle a bloody nose in the 1963 Championship game. I have NEVER seen a pro-bowl game to this day and I don’t think I ever will. (Actually I’ll enjoy the break of not seeing 450 Ford truck commercials for a week or two).

  24. I don’t get it. WHY should it be canceled? Because Florio doesn’t like it? Because it’s boring? Because “most” don’t watch it? Well, if that’s the criteria, then why does soccer exist in the U.S.? For the same reason that the pro bowl does….because enough people do like it.

    NOBODY is forced to play in the pro bowl. It’s sold out. It’s successful on tv. If you don’t like it, simply don’t watch it. It’s really that simple. Shut up and don’t watch it.

    BTW: I don’t watch it either. But I’m not stupid enough to think everybody should do what I do.

  25. bigwalt2990 says:
    Jan 29, 2017 6:01 AM
    8pm start!?!? Who in their right mind would stay up till midnight watching a meaningless game?
    ——-
    Most of us that don’t live on the east coast.

  26. Having it in Orlando was a better idea; most people can afford to go there as opposed to Hawaii, which is super expensive. The players can take their kids to Disney World while they’re there. There is also a wide price-range for hotels there. It makes sense.

  27. “Name the team, have a dinner, give them a plaque, and just be done with it”

    Yep…..it’s hard to get injured while wolfing down prime rib and steaks.

  28. With the introduction of drones into the skills competition maybe next year can be an all drone probowl
    *********************************************
    Here’s an idea…why don’t they just use a fleet of drones at the games to help the refs get the freakin’ calls right! Better still…why don’t they just replace the refs with drone fleets! At least all the drones would see the same thing. Fly ’em all over the place.

  29. Ever since the Colts decided to purposefully throw the remainder of their season, fixing games to “Suck for Luck” I’ve felt that there should be SOME disincentive to be the last place team.

    I say make the last place team in the NFL play the best College team to see just how bad they really are

    I know I’D tune in for such a spectacle… I sure don’t bother watching any of the Pro Bowl, made up of guys not good enough or smart enough to get out of playing that game
    ************************************************
    We’ve talked about this one…the Bears would get C-R-E-A-M-E-D – it would be a total embarrassment but maybe that’s just what they need. LOL

  30. Skills compitiom was a joke, Best part was Dean Blandino explaining the equipment malfuntion, FML….
    ********************************************
    Has he explained what a catch is yet???

  31. conormacleod says:
    Jan 29, 2017 12:08 PM
    bigwalt2990 says:
    Jan 29, 2017 6:01 AM
    8pm start!?!? Who in their right mind would stay up till midnight watching a meaningless game?
    ——-
    Most of us that don’t live on the east coast.
    ——————————————————————
    Just an FYI, close to 50% of the U.S. population lives in the eastern time zone. Half the country. You’d think the NFL would take that into consideration but doing the obvious seems beyond the leagues capability.

  32. I’ve been to the Pro Bowl when it was in Miami.
    I live here in Orlando and been to 3 Dolphin home games and driven to Jacksonville and Tampa once. Also attended the ACC Championship game and the Dolphins pre season game here.
    I see good players, whether it’s on the team I’m supporting or the opponent.

    This Pro Bowl isn’t just corporations buying tickets.
    Standing room only went on sale yesterday $20 a piece.
    Over 1,500 people were in line that bought those tickets.
    Its thousands showing up to open practices.
    It’s Clinton Dix, playing in front of his hometown Friends & family, staying an hour & 40 minutes after signing autographs & taking selfies.
    Its Max Starks showing up with friends to a morning chili cook off with the funds going to breast cancer.
    It’s a Disney Main Street parade with players connecting with tourists.
    Street parties, block parties and club events with Billy Joel, Florida Georgia Line and Future/Dj Khaled. Is it the same level as next week in Houston? No. And it shouldn’t.

    Everything this week has shown me is that this week is about showcasing the NFL and its connection to the community.
    500 tickets given to families at Ronald McDonald house, dodgeball at the Orlando Eye, wing eating contests at BDubs, the ProBowl 5k.

    As a citizen I’ve definitely seen a lot of players out about with their families taking it all in, either downtown, at concerts or at the parks like Sea World, Universal and of course Disney.

    Sure the actual game is a joke, but so is that pick up game after the company or family picnic.

    Sometimes it’s not about being competitive, sometimes it’s just about connecting and having fun.

  33. I’m also in the boat of I’m not watching but if others want to, more power to them.

    If the NFL wants to see this game continually sold out they need to move it every so many years. I realize it would have to be warmer climates and a desirable “vacation spot” for the “pro Bowlers” (term used loosely as the AFC was close to naming RGIII to them team) to want to attend.

    If not the market in which the game may get stale to going to the game. I haven’t watched a Pro Bowl in years but the last time I did flip over to one I recall seeing a Hawaii stadium attendance that might resemble a college bowl games attendance in Little Rock, Arkansas featuring Miami, Ohio vs Wyoming…….

  34. Ha!! It sold out after they lowered the ticket price to 20.00 a ticket ( twenty bucks) the circus cost more per seat.. NFL ripping people off!!!

  35. ariani1985 wrote: “Will the packers still hang pro bowl banners?

    Will the Vikings ever hang a championship banner?

  36. thumper00:
    No it was sold out on Friday, when tickets were $310 down to $75 per seat. The folks at Camping World stadium cleared out an area where a party deck usually is, creating the extra standing room only area.
    Those sold out in minutes to those in line at the stadium, and a few lucky people online.

    Nice try though.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.