The Pro Bowl is this upcoming weekend in Hawaii once again after a year in Arizona. Honestly I do not think many people knew or care, every year it is a joke of a game and completely not worth watching. Yes there are some highlights but mostly it is a bunch of the stars lofting around like they could care less if they are there. They also don’t want to get hurt so that is a possibility as to why they are playing like that. The real question is who should care or why should anyone care about this game? Well no one should care about this game, the players, the outcome or anything because it is the equivalent of a spring training all star game in baseball. So if no one should watch this game how can the NFL make this game relevant other than something football related to watch before the Super Bowl.
Theres a few ways to basically make this game relevant, the most obvious is make the players want to play in this game. One way to make them play harder is money, give the players more money and incentive to win the game and do good. Maybe give the team that wins more money than they currently do, especially since it is a extra game and most of these guys are not in the playoffs. This is the easiest way to make the game watchable because money is fairly abundant for owners and the league.
Another way to do it is put the game in the middle of the season and have the voting start since week one. The problem with this is that it only has the first half stars, not the second half stars. It would be very controversial with most fans as well as players. It would also not give the players that play in the game a extra bye week like those not in the game do, unless you do two weeks for the pro bowl with the first being the pro bowl and second a bye week. Another problem, more logistics than anything, is that where will they hold the game and what in college football will they be competing with?
Another way would provide a great advantage to the conference that wins. This would force the NFL to go away from the “Legends Draft” and back to a conference format. But the idea is make the game mean more and the way to do that is make the winner have home field in the playoffs. The MLB already does this and they might have the best and most entertaining all star game of all professional sports.
What could also be included is the “mini-games” kind of stuff like the home run derby, three point contest and dunk contest. What can be done? Well college already has a format for this: arm strength and accuracy contest, the running gauntlet, kicking for distance, and a receiving gauntlet. In my opinion this may be the biggest thing to get some audience for the weekend, I know people would tune in to see who really has the best hands in the NFL, or is the best all-around running threat. I know I would, I could see it already Aaron Rodgers vs. Carson Palmer for who has the biggest arm.
The last idea is basically a emergency plan, go to a flag football game. This would stay 11-on-11 and enforce some basic defensive rushing rules as well as different rules for all other defenders. This would make the game supremely safer as well as a bit more entertaining. How it can be more entertaining is more of a 1 on 1 battle and offensive showcase, making the defenders actually try to not be embarrassed.
Any of these ideas or a combination of these would make the Pro Bowl not just a “I guess it’s something to watch” and turn it into a “I have to watch this” event.