Pro bowl or Fan bowl? The NFL Pro Bowl is the most irrelevant event across the entire sports landscape. Plain and simple.
For anyone who is unaware, this an all-star game between the two conferences of the National Football League.
The National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).
Every professional sport has its own all-star game where the most talented at their positions meet to compete at the highest level possible.
In its simplest form the concept really is amazing. The fastest, strongest, most cognitively aware humans on the earth meeting head to head for a showdown of true physical ability. If only this could be the case.
This ‘prestigious’ honor has become the internal laughing stock for the league. That is for those in it long enough to realize what this all, but stars game is.
To dilute the situation even more the rules have changed to allow 125 players into the game this year instead of the regular 88. There are 32 teams each allowed a 53-man roster. That is 1,696 men across the entire NFL platform and the ‘all-star’ game is going to host well above 7 percent of it to represent the best?
That number is 5 percent for the NBA and 6 percent for the NHL. The point is that more and more players are being let into a game meant to be exclusive.
How are the players chosen? The vote is a third fan based and two-thirds player/coach based.
There is an extremely important catch and it is that fans are allowed to vote unlimitedly. Why should that matter?
It has disturbing significance because it put the worst punter in the league, Ryan Plackemeier of the 49’s, into the number one spot solely based on a flashy campaign by their own organization.
If money is going to buy this showing then it is no better than a political campaign and that is disturbing.
Another important piece to this complex puzzle is the date of the Pro Bowl. It is scheduled a week before the Super Bowl.
Who in their right mind would risk hurting themselves a week before the greatest moment of their life for this superficial fan fair?
It has gotten to the point that an unwritten rule has arose of not going for injury causing or excessive tackles. Obviously, players are not trying to hurt each other to the point of injury either way, but there are extra precautions when they are playing on ice in fear of losing a Super Bowl appearance.
Sean Taylor may be the one exception to this rule and if that reference is foreign then I insist you do some form of research into the name.
The worst part of the situation is what the Pro Bowl could be. Instead it has become something for the fans which is nice in its own right because that is why football is worth anything, right?
For true fans that would love to see acts of sickening athleticism, this game a week before the Super Bowl has become nothing more than a statistic to throw into arguments of who the better players are.
Pro Bowl appearances are becoming synonymous with that stack of medals from little league or those soccer tournaments you played in as a little kid. Yeah, they look really cool hanging up and, wow, there are a lot which means you must be good right? Did every other kid who played show you his though? Quality over quantity.