Call it the great experiment, but I will call it what it really is, a desperate attempt to liven up a football game that should have been put out of its misery a long time ago.
The NFL decided to unconference the Pro Bowl, putting Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice in charge to draft the players selected to play in the game. And, to make matters worse, the league scheduled a two-day draft with the second day televised by the NFL Network.
The Pro Bowl is all about NFL players getting paid for staying in Hawaii for a week. There is no defense played and there isn’t a lot of intensity. Commissioner Roger Goodell criticized the game, and this is the result of that criticism.
The Pro Bowl is the worst of the four all-star games, ranking behind baseball, basketball and hockey all-star games.
You now have players from the same team playing against each other.
Do you think linebacker Derrick Johnson is going to try and take Jamaal Charles’ head off? Not likely. Charles is the Chiefs’ franchise.
Do you think safety Eric Weddle of the Chargers is going to rip into teammate Phillip Rivers should the QB decide to scramble? Not likely.
Then you have Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals going up against teammate Patrick Peterson, Carolina fullback Mike Tolbert probably blocking teammate Luke Kuechly and Indy’s Robert Mathis rushing teammate Andrew Luck at some point in the game. I just don’t see the collisions that you would see in a regular-season game.
Can you imagine the reception that Peterson might get from Arizona teammates if he injures Fitzgerald? Ditto for Mathis if he injured Luck.
Maybe it’s going to take an injury to a marquee player to get the Pro Bowl banned once and for all.
The only good idea Goodell has had is his idea of banning the PAT which has been automatic in recent years. Goodell’s idea is to award seven points for a touchdown, and taking a point away if a team fails to convert a run or passing PAT. Obviously it’s something that would have to be tried in preseason first. I’m certainly not put off by it.
I’ve been put off by the lack of touchdowns in the red zone in recent years. Why not make the end zone 20 yards deep instead of 10? If you like offense, it would certainly open things up a bit and put even more pressure on cornerbacks and safeties in the red zone. It certainly would be much easier for receivers to break open. With that in mind, however, I’d let there be body contact until the ball is thrown.
The 49ers are absolutely screwing over their faithful fans and going corporate. The team is charging upward of $20,000 for rights to tickets in certain parts of the stadium, and that doesn’t include the price for the individual game ticket. Talk about a slap in the face. The 49ers have had some of the best fans in the NFL, and this seems to be an interesting way of thanking them for their support. I don’t think fans would have an issue with higher ticket prices, but a fee just for the rights? Grr.