If you’re a football fan, you have to be on wits end with excitement over the coming championship games in both leagues. This is Fantasy Football extravaganza, four teams with multi-Superstarred talent competing against each other for the greatest prize in the sport; The Super Bowl.
And the NFL thinks that you will want to gear up for the Super Bowl by watching all of your favorite all stars play in an exhibition game the week before. Only theres one problem; of all the stars we’re going to see this weekend, only half of them will be able to even play in the ProBowl.
Thats because the NFL has moved the ProBowl to the week BEFORE the Super Bowl thinking more people will be into the game because the Super Bowl is still a looming event, but to keep the SuperBowl’s game perfect, it prohibits anyone who’s in the big game to play in the Pro Bowl: its a hole in the logic catch 22- You want to get more attention to the all star contest by putting it before the Super Bowl, but you prevent some of the best players from playing in it.
So pick your poison; do you want a Pro Bowl with no Julio Jones, no Matt Ryan, no Davonte Freeman, Alex Mack? Or one with No Aaron Rodgers, no Jordy Nelson, no TJ Lang, or Ha Ha Clinton Dix?
On the AFC side, we could miss Tom Brady going to another Pro-Bowl (wouldn’t that be just terrible) and his Patriot teammates, or Big Ben handing the ball off/passing to Le’veon Bell. In fact, all FOUR QUARTERBACKS are scheduled to be in the ProBowl game, so its a given that two will be disqualified.
If the NFL really wants to give meaning to the ProBowl and give it a bigger audience, taking way some of its biggest stars is not the answer. Having the big names will BE the draw for the game…AFTER the Super Bowl, when its really no more or less on the minds of the fans anyways.
Ratings for the Pro Bowl used to be ok long long ago, here are some of the reasons why its not popular:
- Players to dont play that hard to win, trying more not to get hurt. Solution: Raise the Stakes. Have Pro Bowl winners get something valuable that is tangible for viewers to understand.
- In 1980 a player could win 40% of his annual salary by winning the ProBowl, and 20% just by showing up. Today, the average NFL player can only win 5% of their salary by winning the game, and 2.5% for losing.* (see bottom) This ratio gets worse for skill position players like star QBs.
- Other leagues play their all star game midseason, and sports like Basketball have possibility for injury too. Could be better to have the NFL Pro Bowl go 7 on 7, arena like, or Flag like (use a modern Technology for capture) and give the sport some excitement midseason just before the playoff stretch
- MLB adds consequence to its all star game, the losing conference gives up home field for that years World Series. Let Pro Bowl winning conference be “Home Team” for the Super Bowl next season. Being HOME team in Super Bowl is nothing more than Choosing your uniform, coin toss, etc, but still, its incentive.
*Players Salaries for the ProBowl are barely higher than they were back in the day, almost just adjusting for inflation. Meanwhile player’s contracts have multiplied at a much faster rate. In 1980 when the Pro Bowl was more competitive good players would get approximately 30,000 dollars each for winning, and 15,000 dollars for losing. Today 3 decades later, players get approximately 55,000 for winning and 28,000 for the losers, barely double. Meanwhile a very good Quarterback in 1980 would make an average of 200,000 dollars a year, today the minimum salary for a rookie placekicker is $480,000 a year while a star QB makes about 5 million dollars annually, or 25 times what his 1980 counterpart made.