The NFL Pro Bowl has essentially become one of the most pointless exhibition games in all four major American sports. The NFL is hardly ever behind the other sports in any category, but over the years the Pro Bowl has become a burden to the coaches and players taking part in what is essentially a glorified flag football game. Well…
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the NFL is actively looking for ways to improve the all-star festivities.
Rapoport’s report had me thinking about just what could we do to make this better and worth players participating. Well, since the game is essentially a flag football game, why not make it one?
It won’t be just any flag football game, and it won’t feature AFC v NFC. The NFL can alternate jersey designs yearly, choose two former players to coach the game, and allow them to choose the name for their team. Instead of conference vs conference teams, the fans will select 3 captains from each conference, who will be randomly put together (via a lottery system) and will take turns selecting players from the entire league to form their team. The player pool will be selected as it always is, allowing fans, coaches, and players all to make up equal voting to determine the rosters.
After coaches, team names, jerseys, and the draft occurs, the teams will be formed. 11-on-11 football will be the showcase, but there’s a catch. All defensive players will play offense, and all offensive players will play defense. The game will be played to 21 each quarter, and the winner of each quarter will be given $250,000 donated to the coach’s charity of choice. The winner of the game will win another $250,000 for charity. The MVP of the game will win $250,000 themselves for a charity of their choice.
Oh and the most important part? The game will be played AFTER the Super Bowl so that the game’s most elite, regardless of team, (as Super Bowl teams opt out of the game) can be showcased and honored. Among the rest of the festivities would be bringing back the original QB skills competition, fastest man 40-yard dash, 100-yard race, boundary or endzone trickshot competitions, and even potentially other combine-like activities.
There are some concerns that agents will pull players out of the game due to fear of injury, but the NFL can combat this by making the festivities after the season, and making it much more entertaining. If the weekend can pull a huge draw like other sports, the players will want to be on national TV performing for the fans, and the fans would be happy with the new look Pro Bowl weekend.