Yesterday we finally got news that the NFL is considering eliminating the Pro Bowl!
YES!!! YES!!! YES!
Shoutout to Lizzo, because it’s about damn time! I know this probably won’t happen this year, but at least the NFL is considering it. It won’t be long until we don’t have to endure awful, half-hearted play in a game that is supposed to showcase the sport’s most elite players. Yet the question remains, what takes its place? Nothing? I mean, I hate the Pro Bowl just as much as the next guy, but I don’t think having no method to recognize the best players in the league is the way to go. More Madden? Not a chance. As bad as viewership was for this year’s Pro Bowl (averaging 6.69 million viewers), it was a 263 percent increase in viewership from the Madden “celebration” that happened last year. So, what should they do? I think the answer is clear, incentivize competition, and expand on the Skills Showdown.
Most people who’ve watched the entirety of Pro Bowl weekend since the Skills Showdown’s inaugural season in 2017 will tell you that the best part of the whole shebang is probably the dodgeball portion. It’s just NFLers having fun, playing some dodgeball against one another. It’s interesting to see the different strategies that certain players take. The quarterbacks have the best arms, but are often seen hiding in the back because they’re also generally the least athletic guys out there. Linemen love to try to catch the ball, while cornerbacks and wide receivers tend to be the ones making the risky ventures into the middle of the playing area.
The problem is that even these drills don’t have the same urgency that makes football so great. There was a 40-yard race at the Pro Bowl this past year. That should’ve drawn lots of eyes. Football fans love speed and with guys like Tyreek Hill and Nick Chubb competing, it’d be cool to see how those speedsters matched up with one another. However, the people who ran the race didn’t really try. Hill wore baggy sweatpants and finished last, far behind the rest of his competitors. The race went from a question thousands of football fans had been asking for years to a joke that really only displayed just how fast Micah Parsons is. The same rule applies to events like the Best Hands competition as well. It seems far too dependent on the throws the quarterback makes. Also, anything that involves a panel of judges voting…just throw out that idea. Nobody likes that. It’s so subjective and biased. Just no. The Best Catch competition gave off huge dunk contest vibes and we all know how terrible that is nowadays.
The NFL needs to figure out what type of content and competitions would resonate with fans the most. Based on what I’ve seen online, competitive drills would probably be a good first step. Some other ideas include 1-on-1’s between top corners and receivers, Oklahoma drills between the best offensive and defensive linemen in football, a 4×100 meter relay squaring the eight fastest players in the NFL against one another, a deadlift or bench press competition, and tug of war. That’s five ideas I pulled out of my ass that people would (probably) go nuts for…if the players take it seriously, that is. That’s where monetary compensation comes in. You have to give the players a reason to go hard, and nothing speaks louder than cash. Winners get bonuses and the winning team after all of the events gets a huge bonus on top. Players will still definitely not go as hard as they would in a game situation for fear of injury, but the more incentive the NFL places on each event, the more likely players will go all-out, which is all the fans really want anyway.
The NFL is taking a step in the right direction by considering the removal of the Pro Bowl. However, as we’ve seen with the NFL’s unwillingness to change their overtime policy for so long, it could take a while for any actual changes to be made. The NFL clearly knows what the fans want, but they’ve never been able to actually get those changes going. They always search for compromises to make everyone happy, so hopefully with something as broken and unappealing as the Pro Bowl, these changes will come sooner rather than later.
Original source here
#NFLs #Pro #Bowl