I don’t like the Pro-Bowl. I really could care less. It’s an important honor for those who have earned it, but the game itself is pointless. Perhaps the best take on the Pro-Bowl was written over at Field Gulls by Kenneth Arthur. Don’t click that link unless you like laughing at awesomely funny writing.
The thing is, there just isn’t any way to make it better. When it was after the superbowl, no one cared because football was over for the year. Now that it is the week before the Superbowl, we’re stuck with a all-star game that doesn’t contain any players from the 2 teams that will play for the league championship. Neither idea works.
As annoying as all-star breaks are, the truth is that mid-season all-star games are the only ones that work. At the mid-season point, a sort break to celebrate the players who’ve had good seasons is a nice change of pace. Anything later than that and the game gets lost among the things that actually matter, like playoffs and championships.
The problem is that a mid-season game doesn’t work for football. The game is too violent. Injuries are too common, and too devastating to a team. Imagine if Walter Jones had been hurt at a mid-season pro-bowl game back in 2005. If that happens the Seahawks likely don’t make it to the superbowl. Not a pretty thought.
I don’t know if the NFL makes any money from the game. I doubt it. Most years the stadium in Hawaii is half-full. No one seems to ever watch the game, so I doubt they get any substantial TV money. They might as well just cancel the game and just release the list of player who deserve the honor. Invite them all to a big party in some city and just skip the game.
I think everyone would end up happier that way.