I’ve been highly critical of the Pro Bowl over the years for several reasons. For one, shit like this happens. Yes, the title of that Youtube clip is “Fat Lineman Scores TD!!!!!!” (For the sake of integrity I left the proper amount of exclamation points in the title.) But I’ve been thinking about this the last couple days, and god help me I’m about to defend the Pro Bowl. Nate is out of town otherwise I’m sure we’d have to take this one to court.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard is that there is no blitzing. Okay, so this one pissed me off for a long time. Imagine a baseball game where a pitcher was only allowed to throw fastballs, or in basketball if you couldn’t do any half court press. Yes, it does suck that you can’t blitz. But what if blitzing was allowed? What if a group of offensive lineman who are only together for a week have to learn an entirely new system of blitz pick-ups from a coach that they’ve never worked with in their life? My guess is this would happen. Okay, well maybe not…that, but there would be some banged up quarterbacks. Big name signal callers would start declining invites left and right. What you’re left with is Matt Moore vs. Matt Ryan and people are even more bored than they were already.
If you honestly think there needs to be more defense in the Pro Bowl, you probably haven’t thought this through. Or you’re really old and grumpy. If defenses were really able to do anything they wanted, it is unlikely that offenses would get much done at all. Nothing like a good ol’ 13-10 all-star game. But this isn’t the only reason that people hate the Pro Bowl. It’s very common for bloggers to rage against this event and suggest a variety of fixes. Hell, I did it last year. Here are some suggestions from the “Neon Tommy” blog.
-Cancel the game and have an awards show instead. Actually they have an awards show starting this year independent of the Pro Bowl.
-Make the incentive for winning the Pro Bowl greater. I think I speak for the rest of America when I confess my desire for professional athletes to be making more money!
-Fine players who skip out on the Pro Bowl. Yes, let’s dispatch investigators to make sure that everyone that wants to sit out is “actually injured”. And then let’s get doctor’s notes! Actually no let’s not do that. Because it’s stupid.
-Create a skills competition. They used to have this, and they still might. Why don’t I know for sure? Because no one cares about Drew Brees throwing the ball through a tire. (Alright, Nate might care about that)
The Pro Bowl is what it is. It’s not meant to be an epic battle that rivals the Super Bowl, or even a pre-season game for that matter. It is a chance to watch some of your favorite offensive players put up sick stats one last time this season, and your favorite defensive players getting torched. It isn’t must see TV, but it’s not worse than kicking yourself in the dick. Or Fox’s Sunday night line-up.
I might be live tweeting this game, or I might find a really good re-run of Seinfeld instead. It could go either way.