Do you even watch the Pro Bowl? I can’t recall the last time I watched the Boring Bowl, and I write about the NFL professionally.
The thing is that the Pro Bowl is just lacking any excitement whatsoever. Sure, it’s really cool to see a bunch of the biggest stars in the NFL conferences on the field together. But that’s where the coolness ends.
Nobody wants to risk injury. There is no real prize for winning. The only thing at stake for players is that they may end up requiring surgery for a game that doesn’t count. In addition, the best players almost always defer because they want to stay healthy for the Super Bowl.
For years the NFL has tried to make the Pro Bowl more exciting. But the reality is that it’s about as exciting as watching a game of peewee flag football.
Now, in efforts to make it more popular, the NFL has decided to pull the Pro Bowl from Hawaii, opting to relocate it to Orlando, Florida, instead.
In 2010, the NFL moved the game to Miami, Florida, and in 2015 it moved it to Glendale, Arizona. Neither decision did anything to help the declining rankings of one of the most unenticing professional sporting events that exists.
The NFL has been mum on how long the game will remain in Orlando. But the real question that should be poised is: Does anyone really even care?
Sure, it’s cool to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl because you got voted in there. But then, when nobody tunes in to watch, what’s all the hoopla really about?
A better suggestion would be to roll out new awards that reward players for getting voted the best in the game. An annual awards ceremony could be categorized for all positions, with voters deciding who gets the award for best player of the bunch.
These awards could be easily integrated into the current awards system and televised in an annual show. My bet is that if the NFL took this approach, they’d see a lot more interest from their fan base then the lackluster ratings they get now from the Pro Bowl.
Honestly, the Pro Bowl is even less exciting to watch than a preseason game. At least in the preseason, you’ll see real hits and real competition from players who are trying to make the roster or compete for starting positions.
All that we get to see now are high-fives and a ton of ads we could do without, nonetheless as players stomp around in a virtually empty stadium. Sounds reminiscent of the Xtreme Football League.