The NFL Pro Bowl Is Barely Football These Days

Football fans & the media have been protesting the way the NFL Pro Bowl is played for years now.

Some of the rules are just straight up ridiculous.

  • No rushing the passer
  • No kickoffs
  • No blitzing
  • No offensive shifts or motioning
  • Defenses can only run a 4-3
  • Offenses must have a running back and tight end in all formations
    • This takes all the fun out of a Pro Bowler stacked offense. Do you understand how many great plays could be run without this pointless rule?! We wanna see the best 4 wide receivers on one side of the ball running schoolyard plays drawn up in the dirt!

There’s no official rule outlawing tackling. However, the players have a gentleman’s agreement to “do little, if any tackling”.

I could list more but any football fan reading this is already pissed off enough.

Even the legends are objecting this BS.

NFL Pro Bowl
NFL Legend Deion Sanders Tweets His Disappointment With The NFL Pro Bowl

The 2012 Pro Bowl is where this all started.

In response to the game:

Players love the trip to Hawaii but don’t care for the game itself. They have no desire to risk injury in a ‘meaningless’ game, which is why they don’t play hard, which is how you end up with 59–41 as the final score. It’s that lack of effort that caused fans to boo during portions of this year’s game.

Simon Samano of NFL.com

I was just surprised that some of the guys either didn’t want to play or when they were in there didn’t put any effort into it.

Aaron Rodgers, Pure Blooded Future NFL Hall of Famer

Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell threatened to cancel the game in the future if the poor product continued. He didn’t follow through on that promise because the Pro Bowl sucks & it’s still being played.

What Happened to the Pro Bowl?

I may have the answer to Primetime’s question.

NFL Pro Bowl

In 2011, the NFL had a lockout due to not agreeing on new terms for the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). Obviously, they eventually agreed on a deal, or we wouldn’t have a Pro Bowl to complain about.

The New CBA Deal

The players benefitted from a few things in the new CBA deal. I’ll list the relevant benefits.

  1. The league’s minimum salary for players increased by 10-12%.
  2. The players gained increased injury protection.
  3. The players prevented the owners from taking a higher % of league revenues.
  4. The players would now receive 55% of national media revenue, 45% of NFL ventures revenues, as well as 40% of local club revenues.

The players & their safety became that much more valuable to NFL owners, & that much more expensive when injuries do occur.

Wouldn’t you care a little more about an employee that you now have to pay 10-12% more?

If the players are taking more of the revenue, the NFL owners would want them to bring in even more revenue than usual so their income doesn’t significantly drop. This requires the Pro Bowl players to be healthy & ready for the next season.

Here’s The Point

These Pro Bowl rules that are disguised as Player Safety initiatives are really just Money Safety initiatives. The NFL owners don’t care about the players, they care about the check.

The lockout was in 2011. The 2012 Pro Bowl got a ton of backlash & so have the rest since. The timeline checks out.

NFL Pro Bowl

To be fair, the players care about the check too. This is also a good point from former NFL corner Antonio Cromartie.

How To Fix The NFL Pro Bowl

This is easy.

Move the game back to after the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl is the Super Bowl Champions vs the best of the rest. 1 string from the NFC, 1 string from the AFC. Instead of 6 Quarterbacks, we’ll see 3, & the same with other positions as well. Only the best of the best competing for bragging rights.

I know what you’re thinking. The Pro Bowl team will be stacked & the Super Bowl Champs will have no chance of competing.

The first 5 “Pro Bowl” games, from 1938-1942, were played this way. The Champs won the first 4 before finally losing one to the Pro Bowlers.

I know the game is different now. The point is it will be a competitive game.

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