Photo Credit: Gregory Payan / Associated Press
The 2019 Pro Bowl has come and gone again and pretty much nobody cared, again. NFL players again put their bodies and careers on the line in a meaningless game played in the rain in a game that nobody really cared about, again. This game needs to be gone. Cut out of our conscious for the rest of eternity. The game isn’t even an accurate representation of professional football. Instead, it’s flaming garbage. It’s not professional football when Alvin Kamara, a running back, subs in on defense and pressures a quarterback. It’s not professional football when Mike Evans, a wide receiver, subs in on defense, gets an interception and the subsequent return looks straight out of a peewee football game. On top of that, the players risk injuring themselves right at the end of the season which could position their free agency or next season in jeopardy. Most players in the Pro Bowl would probably like another week off in the offseason to rest and recover, but because of the perceived gravitas of the game, play in it.
The only good thing that comes out of Pro Bowl week is the dodgeball game between the AFC and NFC. As a fan, I haven’t cared about the Pro Bowl my entire life. It’s a great concept that is poorly executed year after year after year. However, since ESPN took over coverage and added the skills competition, the dodgeball game has been must-watch TV for me. Watching 300-pound defensive linemen try to dip, dive and dodge a ball screaming at them out of a quarterback’s hand is hilarious. It’s a truly damning indictment of the NFL and the product the Pro Bowl produces when somebody who loves football as much as I do would rather watch professional athletes play a middle school gym class game than the sport which they have worked at for years to be considered the best at their craft.
All that being said, the Pro Bowl still brings in ticket and TV revenue for the NFL machine and will probably be part of the week before the Super Bowl for years to come. See you January 24, 2020, for AFC vs NFC Dodgeball.