Jan 25, 2013, Ko Olina, HI, USA; AFC defensive end J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans (99) at AFC media day for the 2013 Pro Bowl at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Despite all of the talk about the potential if the Pro Bowl being cancelled permanently, I feel that the Pro Bowl serves a purpose for both fans and players alike. I don’t think the analysts and sports network talking heads do not give it enough credit for what it is worth, I feel that it serves a much bigger purpose than the “half-effort, lame excuse for an NFL All-Star game” reputation it has been given.
For the Fans: I think it gives the fans a chance to voice their opinions and show their love for a favorite player, such as an offensive lineman who may not get as much credit or limelight as much as the team’s star receiver or halfback. It also gives the fans a way to see their favorite players on good terms one last time before the seemingly never ending offseason comes to. If the fan’s favorite team had a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs or even bumbled away the chance to make the playoffs. The fan gets to see a representation of their team in the Pro Bowl as sort of a swan song for the season, ending it on a positive note, despite the team’s shortcomings on their Super Bowl aspirations. The Pro-Bowl gives fans an opportunity to enjoy an extra week of football, sometimes during the dreaded offseason, we get so desperate for football that we’ll latch onto anything remotely football oriented, the Pro Bowl is one another drink of delicious football nectar before we ultimately fast for about 6 months. I think fans are a spoiled with football on a regular basis during the regular season that this last hurrah of football is taken for granted.
For the Players: The players are extremely grateful to be named a Pro-Bowl player, most play their entire career without receiving such a revered honor amongst the league. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine after a grueling “season” of working, and putting your body through a demanding gauntlet, and you are rewarded with a vacation to Hawaii. After seeing a number of tweets from various players thanking the fans and the league for the opportunity to be a part of a historic and exclusive event. They are representing their individual and the overall success of the team, no matter how disappointing their season turned out.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has acknowledged that he is considering eliminating the game altogether, but I hope that he chooses not to. I like to consider myself as one of the few left that are pro-Pro Bowl, considering all of the negativity surrounding the game. The Pro Bowl is a one of a kind event, that no matter what is being shown on TV that night, the Pro Bowl will simply dominate the ratings. Taking away the Pro Bowl is not only detrimental to the fans, and revenue stream of the league, but it is detrimental to the young players who will get to meet the veterans of the league and learn of their wisdom of the league.
– Richard Perez