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Thread: NFL's biggest joke: The Pro Bowl

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default NFL's biggest joke: The Pro Bowl

    NFL's biggest joke about to be exposed - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN

    Not since Tony Montana arrived in the Mariel Boatlift has Miami welcomed such an unredeemed entity.

    Say hello to my very, very little friend: the 2010 Pro Bowl.

    The weakest, lamest, least compelling of all All-Star games, the Pro Bowl has long been a pimple carefully hidden on the NFL’s posterior (after the season, off the mainland).

    Then some braniac thought, What if we could move it to the middle of our forehead?

    Yes, Roger Goodell has yanked the Pro Bowl out of the witness protection program -- where it belongs -- and placed it center stage in Miami on the Sunday between the conference title games and the Super Bowl.

    Sure, an event that is supposed to showcase the most talented players in the sport won’t feature anyone from either of the two most talented teams in the league, but why nitpick?

    Who knows, maybe the All-Pros on the Colts (7) and Saints (7) used the lure of having a built-in excuse to miss this goofy exhibition as motivation in their playoff runs. Though they won’t be playing, the 14 Pro Bowlers on the Super Bowl teams will be required to be in the stadium the night of the game or forfeit their Pro Bowl checks. Yep, the league has to bribe its own players to watch this game.

    Between injuries, indifference and prep for SB XLIV, less than two-thirds of the originally named Pro Bowlers will play in the game.

    Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Brett Favre have joined Peyton Manning and Drew Brees on the unavailable-to-participate-in-pointless-spectacle list. (Ben Roethlisberger got out ahead of this one when Steeler team doctors recommended he decline the “honor.”) If one more QB had balked, the next invite was going to be Keanu Reeves.

    At receiver in the NFC, Larry Fitzgerald was replaced in the starting lineup by reserve Sidney Rice who was subsequently replaced by Roddy White. In the AFC, both Patriot stud receivers will miss the game, one with a serious knee injury (Wes Welker), the other (Randy Moss) with one of those injuries that flared up the moment the real games ended.

    At the rate players have been bailing on this Pro Bowl they may be playing eight-on-eight come kickoff.

    So who’s left?

    Just when you thought exhibition tackle football couldn’t get any less meaningful, David Garrard -- fresh off a 15-TD, 10-INT season -- is a Pro Bowler. Maybe the Jags wouldn’t have been playing in front of a sea of empty seats every week if their fans had known their QB was having a Pro Bowl season.

    That’s right, the No. 1 criterion for a quarterback to make the Pro Bowl is no longer QB rating, TDs or total yards. It’s willingness to participate.

    Garrard will join Vince Young on the AFC sideline. The sideline is where Young spent the first six weeks of the season. But once Young went under center for the Titans he started posting numbers. Not big numbers, nor particularly impressive numbers, but numbers nonetheless.

    Young finished 22nd in the league in completion percentage, 18th in QB rating and 23rd in TD-to-attempt ratio, right behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. In other words, Roger Goodell’s kind of Pro Bowler! (Young did finish several spots ahead of Garrard in TD-to-attempt ratio as the Jags’ QB threw an astounding 34.4 passes for every touchdown.)

    While no sport’s All-Star exhibition measures up to its real games, the NFL’s is clearly the most irrelevant.

    Baseball’s Midsummer Classic has given us King Carl Hubbell striking out five Hall of Famers in a row, Ted Williams taking Rip Sewell’s Eephus pitch deep and Cal Ripken Jr. saying goodbye with an MVP. (And, yes, Bud Selig declaring a tie.)

    Though the NBA All-Star Game has become increasingly unwatchable in recent years, it has provided some awesome moments: David Thompson vs. Dr. J in 1979; Magic Johnson’s MVP return in ’92; Michael Jordan outdueling a 19-year-old Kobe Bryant in ‘98

    Even hockey has provided some All-Star memories: Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky one-upping each other with alternating MVP performances from 1988-1990; a graying Ray Bourque winning MVP in Boston in ’96; the introduction of the shootout to the league in 2003.

    But football?

    Can anyone remember anything noteworthy about a Pro Bowl? Besides the autograph-seeking fan Marvin Harrison allegedly throttled in Hawaii in 2005.

    I first learned the Pro Bowl was bogus as a little kid looking at my 1975 Topps football cards.

    On the back of Eagles QB Mike Boryla’s card -- in that little space below the stats -- it said he had starred in the Pro Bowl following the ’75 season. He had thrown fourth-quarter TD passes to two different St. Louis Cardinals -- Mel Gray and Terry Metcalf -- to rally the NFC from a 20-9 deficit to a 23-20 victory.

    What had Boryla done to deserve to be on that stage? Well, he had started five games for Philly and thrown six TD passes and 12 picks.

    The guy wasn’t even David Garrard. Not close.

    I still have no idea how Boryla made it on the field representing a conference that included 9-time Pro Bowler Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach (6 Pro Bowls), Jim Hart (4), Norm Snead (4), Archie Manning (2) and reigning Pro Bowl MVP James Harris (who won the award the last time the game was played in Miami). But the fact that Boryla played -- and excelled -- told me everything I’d ever need to know about the Pro Bowl.

    Boryla appeared in a total of 23 NFL games, finishing his career with 20 TD passes and 29 interceptions. From his Pro Bowl success, it’s clear he fared better when the defense wasn’t trying.

    The insignificance of the Pro Bowl may not be new, but moving it before the Super Bowl will showcase its sad irrelevance. It’s hard to believe this is an event the league wanted to shine a spotlight on when it so obviously should be ignored.

    You just can’t make friendly, don’t-get-hurt football compelling.

    And this year you’ll have the entire sports media army in Miami with nothing better to do than observe just how dull and listless the Pro Bowl is. (“These teams really do not hate each other.”)

    Now that he’s dragged this cadaver into the spotlight maybe Commissioner Goodell will be able to see that it’s time to give it a decent burial.

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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    I sure as hell won't be watching it. Why did they move it out of Hawaii? Maybe they thought they'd sell more tickets if it was held on the mainland?

    Whatever the reason it is a waste of air time.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I wouldn't call the Pro Bowl itself a complete joke. The way they've handled it this year is a complete joke, though.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I wouldn't call the Pro Bowl itself a complete joke. The way they've handled it this year is a complete joke, though.
    I agree. When I remembered to watch it, I thought it was kind of a cool, fun game. I guess, kind of like fantasy football, where you have some of the best players in the conference playing on the same team for one day. Moving the date and the location, though, makes no sense to me....

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I agree. When I remembered to watch it, I thought it was kind of a cool, fun game. I guess, kind of like fantasy football, where you have some of the best players in the conference playing on the same team for one day. Moving the date and the location, though, makes no sense to me....
    Exactly.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I agree. When I remembered to watch it, I thought it was kind of a cool, fun game. I guess, kind of like fantasy football, where you have some of the best players in the conference playing on the same team for one day. Moving the date and the location, though, makes no sense to me....
    I agree completely as well. It USED to be semi fun to watch and I actually looked forward to watching it!

    I remember watching it on TV as a youngster (all those years ago!) and seeing the Stadium (Oahu Stadium? Damn can't remember!) it was played in, in Oahu. Home of the Univ of Hawaii Rainbows! And seeing the 'bridges' that incorporate the stadium (hopefully someone will understand what I am talking about, hard to explain). And it was February and people were in their shorts watching a cool NFL game from these bridges. I wanted to go to it so bad!
    I did go to the Stadium, but to see the Rainbows play, in December. And I stood on one of the bridges, with beer in my hand and LOVED IT. Stadium wasn't great, but it was still cool. I think I liked it much more because of all the Pro Bowls I had seen in the past....

    Sorry, just had to throw it in.

    I may watch the Pro Bowl this year, simply because there isn't shit on.

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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    I like the Pro Bowl. It was nice to have that one last football game after the Superbowl. This year it is before, which is stupid. But I will be glad to see some of my Vikings play again on Sunday. I heard the Vikings had 8 players asked to go,...the most from any NFL team. I wonder if Brett is well enough to play tomorrow? I am anxious to see Jared Allen slam a few more bodies and see if Adrian Peterson can hang on to the ball...lol

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i've never been interested in it, really. I may turn it on for a bit, but meh.
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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    I noticed online this morning that Braynt McKinnie of the Vikings got kicked off the Pro Bowl team. Sounds like he was missing practices but not missing the parties at night. The article went on to say he shouldn't have earned the postition on the team at all. Not sure how they get picked, but it sounds like he was fucking off. Guess he figured the season ended last week. Idiot.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    I watched most of the 2d half. I thought it was campy fun. Although it's barely football, more like a family Thanksgiving touch football game. But there's no D in the NBA All-Star game. I think only baseball's all-star game resembles a real game.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I kept the Pro Bowl on while I did other stuff. Barely paid attention to it. It just wasn't the same, since it wasn't in Hawaii or after the Super Bowl. The best part was after the game when they interviewed Peyton and Brees together.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i didnt even turn it on, i completely forgot. so i went online to search for the results, and it wasn't as easy to find, as say, the Super Bowl.
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Didn't watch afterall.....apparently didn't miss much!

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