Every year, fans and media put aside their differences to collectively jeer, mock, and ridicule the NFL's Pro Bowl game, typically played in Honolulu, HI. Players don't seem too interested in turning it into anything more than a flag football game. It's a fun night of tepid laughter as the NFL 'lets loose.'
Despite all the naysayers, the NFL plays it because people still watch. Why would you turn away 12.2 million viewers and that television and advertising revenue? Thus, the NFL's brightest minds got together and...borrowed a page from the National Hockey League.
As announced today, with all the following information coming from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL has done away with the traditional AFC-NFC Pro Bowl Game. In its place? A Pro Bowl Game with a "fantasy-like draft," which the NHL has been doing for a few years.
How will this work? Draft captains Jerry Rice, a/k/a the greatest player of all-time, and Deion Sanders will advise two leading vote-getters and some lucky fans who will select players, on NFL Network, from a pool of talent, voted on by fans, coaches, and players as always. Each squad will have 43 players.
Finally, those Pro Bowl teams will play on January 26th from Honolulu. However, it'll look different from a regular NFL game because kickoffs have now been outlawed in the Pro Bowl. I'll assume it'll look similar to this former idea of Roger Goodell's. Also, each quarter will have two-minute warnings, with special timing rules to prevent teams from running out the clock, and the ball will change possession at the end of the quarter. Sound convoluted enough for you? You can find the full details on this press release.
Of course, as entertaining and thrilling as this sounds, I'm sure I speak for everyone reading when I say I hope all of the Houston Texans will be en route to New Jersey at that time.
Thoughts, BRBers? Will this format change increase your interest in the Pro Bowl? Will you bust out mock drafts of Pro Bowl teams? Is this the first step to leaguewide elimination of kickoffs?