NEW YORK – As all of you probably know by now, there will be no Giants playing in the Pro Bowl because they will be playing in the Super Bowl. Still, QB Eli Manning and DE Jason Pierre-Paul were voted in as starters. Both of those guys deserved the honor but so did a few guys who were not voted in. WR Victor Cruz might be right up there on the top of the list. You could make an argument for CB Corey Webster, S Antrel Rolle and P Steve Weatherford. Most of the Giants lost considerable time with injuries or they might have made the squad too, like DE Osi Umenyiora, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Justin Tuck and TE Jake Ballard. Still, I’d rather see them all in the Super Bowl.
What can Roger Goodell do to make the Pro Bowl more interesting? One idea is to use it as a tool overseas to showcase the players. This will never happen because the game doesn’t mean anything other then the honor of being voted in. This would discourage new fans overseas and hurt the NFL inevitably. Perhaps more awards need to be given out such as the UFC does with individual bonus pay for a variety of awards. The NFL should do more of the old school things like defensive lineman challenge and skills contests over the weekend. I would also include a ‘Strongest Man in the NFL’ contest, a ‘Smartest Man in the NFL’ contest and a ‘Fastest Man in the NFL’ contest. I’m sure I will watch some of the game but there is no masking the fact that players do not want to get injured in this game and risk their contracts. And who can blame them?
I’m not sure if this is a game that should be played by the highest paid athletes in the game. I believe all Pro Bowlers should have to attend the festivities and be available for press and what not. Let the Pro Bowlers actually enjoy the event with their families and have some player only activities and meals set up for privacy. The question that remains is what kind of a game will be played? Perhaps an old school gridiron game in throwback uniforms but using the most promising prospects in college football? This game should be transformed into a meaningful event using old school gear and uniforms. The Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams MVP’s of the game win cars. Only then can you take this overseas to truly show the history and tradition of American football. Each game ticket can include a 4 hour DVD of game footage from that years Pro Bowl players. They can be handed out at the stadium, something well produced. Pro Bowl players have permanent decal on helmet the entire year following the Pro Bowl. Return to Hawaii once every 5 years. Give the Pro Bowl players diamond chains with the diamond charm of the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl logo or whatever it is that year. Something to go with a Super Bowl ring.
What are your suggestions on how to make the Pro Bowl more interesting and worth while to the fans and players. What is your final score prediction? I’m predicting an NFC win over the AFC by the score 47-35.
RD – nygreporter.com