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Get rid of the Pro Bowl

May 13, 2012
The Mining Journal

Is there any more worthless a sporting event than the NFL Pro Bowl game?

I mean, come on. It means absolutely nothing.

The players treat it more like a touch football scrimmage than an actual game and it doesn't even include the NFL's best players when it's held before a Super Bowl contest.

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So many players beg off for various reasons when invited to play that it's a wonder the NFC and AFC rosters are filled for the game.

That said, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering dropping the game, maybe as early as this coming January.

That's the best news since the NFL penalized those involved in the New Orleans Saints' bounty program.

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Goodell reportedly didn't like what he saw in the 2012 game, which the AFC won, 59-41. The quality of play - or lack of it - disturbed the commish.

Television ratings dropped 8.1 percent for the contest, as well, something that no doubt concerns the NFL's hierarchy.

Players largely treat the game as an interruption to a Hawaiian vacation for them and their families. About the same amount of effort goes into the game as hoisting a cold beverage underneath an umbrella at a Hawaiian beach.

No one wants to get hurt, either. Why risk injury in a meaningless showcase more for glamour than competition?

The physical play is a fraction of what normally goes on. Ever remember a safety jarring a receiver with a hard tackle in a Pro Bowl contest?

I didn't think so.

There's a trophy that goes to the winning team (who gets it and where does it go?) and a small payout - by NFL standards - of $50,000 to each winning team member and $25,000 to each losing player.

That's a fraction of what the supposedly "star" Pro Bowl players normally earn.

You don't see much defense played in either the NBA or NHL All-Star games, but at least, individual skills are in the forefront.

The games are also played in the middle of their seasons so most of the best players are available to suit up.

Perhaps baseball's All-Star game is the best among the four major sports. But so many players get a one-and-done appearance in the contest that they don't have much of a chance to shine.

Goodell should eliminate the NFL Pro Bowl contest. It's not much fun to watch.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is



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