NFL: The Pro Bowl farce comes to an end

NFL: The Pro Bowl farce comes to an end

When the NFL announced this week that it would end the Pro Bowl in its current form, no one stepped up to the barricades. On the contrary, it was about time the league admitted that the prank had gone on long enough.

• Read also: The modified Pro Bowl formula for flag football

All sports combined, soccer is the sport that least lends itself to a credible all-star game. Contact is such an important part of the game that it has become unthinkable to ask players to risk injury to entertain the masses when nothing is at stake.

Featured since 1951, the Pro Bowl has long piqued the interest of fans, but increasingly, the game was being played without the slightest conviction. It’s easy to understand why players, after a physically and mentally taxing season, don’t want another demolition derby.

New formula

As a result, the show has been steadily declining, to the point of becoming a real disgrace in recent years. The NFL has tried some experiments to boost the waning interest, to no avail.

That’s how the league announced its intentions to transform the traditional Pro Bowl into a week-long event that will focus on skills competitions and culminate in a flag football game.

The game itself between the stars of the American conference and those of the national conference had become less manly than a Tupperware demonstration anyway.

He could also try to shake things up by entrusting the event to former star quarterback Peyton Manning and her company, Omaha Productions. Knowing that he himself was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and that he’s listened to player complaints over the years, he’s an interesting base to start over.

Over the years, the NFL had more and more trouble attracting players. Some were participating in the Super Bowl, others were recovering from injuries and the least interested gave any reason not to participate in this masquerade.

The honor of being chosen has always been important to the players, but not participating in this game, which is not.

Even if 88 players are invited each year, no less than 135 were called up to line the rosters in 2016. This shows how much we had to draw.

It was obviously a problem, but commissioner Roger Goodell and his cronies stubbornly continued to host the Pro Bowl as long as the ratings stayed on schedule. In the last Pro Bowl, ratings were at an all-time low and the league pulled the plug.

Not everything is resolved

Moving to a new formula is fine, but not everything is solved. The player selection process, which too often resembles a popularity contest, doesn’t seem to be questioned.

In this sense, the all-star team (All Pro) is much more revealing than the players invited to the Pro Bowl, and who are often the substitutes for the substitute for the substitute.

Exactly, it happens far too often that players picked on the All-Star team get snubbed in the Pro Bowl, which is silly. For example, in 2018, of the 27 players chosen for the All-Star team, six were not invited to the Pro Bowl, or 22% of the most deserving.

The new formula certainly won’t be perfect, but it will at least have the merit of no longer pretending to have a real match.

5 things to keep in mind

1. THE LAMAR JACKSON EFFECT

Rarely have we seen a player exert as much impact on offense as Lamar Jackson this season. Not only does he lead quarterbacks with 10 touchdown passes, but he’s also fifth in the league in rushing yards (243 yards). Combining passing and running, he was responsible for 12 touchdowns for the Ravens. He Solo has more than 29 of the 32 teams!

2. NOTICE TO THE BEST

The Patriots are in Green Bay, possibly without quarterback Mac Jones. The news had the effect of a bomb among the sportsbooks, who favor the Packers by a difference of 10 points. Why talk about it? Because, according to ESPN, this is only the second time in the last 20 seasons that the Patriots have been neglected by at least 10 points. The last time, in 2020 against the Chiefs, they were underdogs by 11 points and lost by 16.

3. LOTS OF PARITY

For the fifth time since the NFL merged with the AFL in 1970, only two teams have yet to taste victory after three weeks of activity: the Raiders (0-3) and the Texans (0-2-1). This had happened before in 2012, 1990, 1989 and 1988. The last time a single team went 0-3 after three weeks was in 1959, courtesy of the Lions.

4. OR CANADA

This week and next, NFL players have the opportunity to recognize their or their immediate family’s country of origin by wearing the flag on their helmet. Thus, 14 Canadian players have chosen to take the initiative, including Montrealer Benjamin St-Juste, with the Commanders. Other Canadians participating are Chase Claypool (Steelers), Joshua Palmer (Chargers), Chuba Hubbard (Panthers) and Neville Gallimore (Cowboys).

5. DOMINANT TRAVIS KELCE

Even at 32 years old, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce shows no signs of slowing down. He already has 17 receptions for 230 yards this season. He could move up to fifth in history this week if he adds 51 yards to his yardage. Among tight ends, Tony Gonzalez is far ahead with 15,127 yards, followed by Jason Witten (13,046 yards), Antonio Gates (11,841 yards), Shannon Sharpe (10,060 yards) and Rob Gronkowski (9,286 yards).


#NFL #Pro #Bowl #farce

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