Monday, February 1, 2010

How to Fix the Pro Bowl

I was thinking about this yesterday when everybody was bagging on the Pro Bowl. They definitely have a valid point - exhibition games can be fun, but for the NFL it's tough throwing your most valuable players out there and expecting them to go at each other with anything approaching a game effort.

Here's how I would fix it. Name your All-Pro Teams for the NFC and AFC. Then, have these guys COACH the game.

Your players? The top first and second-year players in the NFL, NFC vs. AFC. Kind of like the Rookie-Sophomore game in the NBA, except it would be conference vs. conference, for a more even game.

Your superstars still get Pro Bowl exposure on the sidelines, while the new generation of players gets a spotlight to make The Leap into prime time.

Imagine Peyton Manning coaching up Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez while Kurt Warner or Brett Favre schemed with Matt Ryan on the other side.

Imagine Ray Lewis huddling with Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing, or Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon giving some credit to their main man Reggie Wayne.

That's just scratching the surface.

Good idea?


  1. It might get kind of crazy to have that many people running around on the sideline, especially if they are all coaching. But I agree that something needs to change. The Pro Bowl has become a joke to watch. Maybe the younger players would at least be competitive.

  2. Also, a question from Wickes:

    To be called a Pro Bowler, does that mean that you actually participated in the game? Or is it everyone who is originally voted as a Pro Bowl selection plus the replacements (Johnny Knox etc.)?

  3. 1 - I agree that there would be a lot of people on the sidelines, but hey, college teams fit like 100 near the bench on gamedays!

    2 - Everybody gets to call themselves a Pro Bowler, even if they were just third alternate, once!

    In Johnny's case, I believe it can only be applied to the return job - so he's a Pro Bowl kick returner, but not a Pro Bowl receiver. Although... he did get thrown at twice in the game, so maybe he is? Maybe he woulda been if he had caught one? Who knows.

  4. Alternate's are not pro bowlers. If you are selected to play in the game and pass due to Super Bowl or injury, you are still a pro bowler. The person they bring into replace now becomes a pro bowler. So Fodor is correct, Johnny Knox is a Pro Bowler, but like he said, as a kick returner