Take a look at the all time Bucs pro bowl list of players, Here is the list.
You’ll notice something (besides the 12 or so Bucs who made multiple pro bowls) for the most part, all the invites are bunched around 1979-82, and 1997-2002. The years the Bucs won.
Its not exactly the winning that gets you in the pro bowl, although it doesnt hurt. Its the National Exposure you get AS a Winning Team. Look at how much they are talking about the Bucs right now around the NFL. These new Bucs are starting to get noticed, and with at least 4 national games this year, the players will start to get exposed.
The pro bowl is a popularity contest, nothing more really. The old saying is..”You miss a few at
the beginning when you deserve to, then you go a few times at the end you probably shouldn’t”. Thats pretty much how the Pro Bowl has worked forever. So Mike Evans may not get in this year, even though he should, but you can guarantee he will next year. Then perhaps in 2026, the 50th anniversary Bucs team will have some people from Twitter Classic saying “Mike Evans only has 400 yards this year…why is he in the Pro Bowl when Michael Irving Jr isnt??” As the Bucs get more national TV games like next weeks Bucs @ Cowboys game, Bucs players will get more votes.
WHY IS THE NFL PRO BOWL SUCH A DUD, WHEN FOOTBALL IS OUR MOST POPULAR SPORT?
This question has rung around the internet every time during the January playoffs and December announcements. Football is KING in the USA, but it’s all star game does BY FAR the worst! They’ve tried everything, even putting stars as coaches and letting players play against each other (which was dumb by the way). They’ve moved the game to the Super Bowl site, they’ve played it before the Super Bowl, after.
The NFL, and the TV execs can’t seem to figure it out..so I will spell it out for you, and for them.
THE GAME DOESNT MATTER!
I dont mean to say there’s no home field advantage for the NFC if they win the Pro Bowl, no I think that is lame for the sport. I simply mean, unlike other sports, the NFL game doesnt matter compared to other things
- The Game is played around the biggest spectacle in American Sports; the Super Bowl. Doesn’t matter if you play it before or after, the Super Bowl is KING in America. More people go to Super Bowl parties than New Years Eve parties now! While Baseball and Hockey and Basketball all have mid season all star games, before even the playoff push, and with events around the game like Dunk contests, Home Run derby, etc, the NFL does the same old thing, right next to the biggest event of the year, and wonder why its not popular.
- The players dont play hard enough. This is new, because they used to. Watch any pro bowl game from back in the day, the 70s, 80s and 90s. It was an honor to be voted to the pro bowl. You didn’t pass on it, and the games used to actually be good; and watched. Of course one thing IS still the same from the 80s Pro Bowls and Todays: MONEY! In the late 70s early 80s, Players used to get 20,000 dollars if they won and 10,000 dollars if they lost. Back then, a star NFL QB played for about 200,000 dollars a year. Thats at least 10% of their salary, you made more than you did playing one game! Now a player gets $26K for losing and $53K for winning. 53k times 16 games if 848,000 dollars, thats minimum wage in the NFL for a 4 year player. Star players like Andrew Luck make 25 million a year, thats 1.5 million dollars a year. Thats 3.5% of a players salary…OF ONE GAME!! NFL is an 11 Billion dollar a year business. Make the pro bowl a 50 million dollar event, 35 Million dollars to winning team, 15 Million to losing team. You’ll see players fight hard, and try to win. The game will improve.
- Too many rule changes..the Pro Bowl has 4 halves with kickoffs each quarter. Oops never mind, no kickoffs in Pro Bowl, no rushing, no blitz, no intentional grounding. IF your going to do that, play the game in Arena style, make it part of a weekend of NFL competition. Lets watch Quarterbacks do amazing trick shots, Offensive Linemen kick extra points, Kickers try to block other kickers, Fantastic one on ones with Best WR going against the best DBs with Best QBs throwing the ball! That would add excitement.
- NO STARS IN THE PRO BOWL Because of all the above, no one wants to play in the game. And moving the game to before the Super Bowl, you’ve taken out all the talent from Super Bowl teams, which usually is ALOT of players, by playing the game BEFORE the Big Game. Move it back to after the Super Bowl, or play it after week 9 when the NFL goes to an 18 game season, give all teams a week off mid season and have these fun competitions, then play the game in arena with flags, have tackling only be for one on ones. We love football, we want to see our stars play, so PLAY THEM AGAINST EACH OTHER!