The Popcorn Stand: Did Average Joes compete in Pro Bowl Dodgeball? |

The Popcorn Stand: Did Average Joes compete in Pro Bowl Dodgeball?

I don’t know if I should make fun of this — or actually think this is something that will breath new life into the Pro Bowl.

As a kid, I actually used to care about the Pro Bowl because the NFL players at one time cared about the game. After the Cleveland Browns beat the Baltimore Colts 27-0 for the NFL Championship in 1964, the Colts Gino Marchetti supposedly made good on a promise (something Marchetti denies) to knock Browns quarterback Frank Ryan out of the game during the following week’s Pro Bowl because he felt the Browns ran up the score in the NFL Championship Game.

Of course, one year I remember watching quarterback Mike Boryla play in the Pro Bowl.

So the Pro Bowl has gotten to the point in which I think the NFL’s top players should just go to Hawaii, Orlando or wherever they go and hold a softball tournament.

But now in an effort to increase interest in the Pro Bowl, the players competed in a skills challenge on Thursday. And one of the skills the players competed in was dodgeball. That’s right, dodgeball.

But the more I think about it, watching NFL players compete in dodgeball could be interesting. Not interesting enough that I actually watched the event.

Call me crazy, but I think pro football players going at it in dodgeball could actually become the NFL’s version of MLB’s Home Run Derby or the NBA’s slam dunk contest.

Of course what would have made the NFL’s dodgeball really cool was if Gary Cole and Jason Bateman had reprised their roles as Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks, respectively, and actually called the event just like they did in one of my favorite movies “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” for ESPN 8, “The Ocho.”

Jason Bateman brilliantly played Pepper Brooks and sounded about as intelligent as a lot of the color commentators I’ve seen on ESPN. (There, my cheap shot at ESPN).

Anyway if this latest gimmick doesn’t work, it may be time for the Pro Bowl to get out of Dodge.

— Charles Whisnand