If you’re any bit like me, then you are probably full of salt on this awful Sunday morning. Sure, the birds are still chirping and the sun is still shining. But none of that matters when there isn’t any real football on, on a SUNDAY no less. The Pro Bowl has been going on since 1951 and I don’t think anyone has cared about it since day one. Most All-Star games suck as it is, but the NFL’s “star-studded” Bowl easily takes the cake for worst of them all.
NBA players just flat out don’t play defense during their ASG, making it excruciatingly unwatchable. Major League Baseball had always boasted what was probably the best All-Star Game because the winning side actually gained something from it, that being home field advantage in Game 7 of the World Series. But along with baseball’s newest bargaining agreement came a major rule change, now awarding home field advantage to the World Series team with the better regular season record. This change basically defeats the purpose of the Midsummer Classic, making it just as irrelevant as its NFL and NBA counterparts.
Despite this, the players will still come out and play their hardest. When you turn on the MLB ASG, you will see the likes of Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, and Clayton Kershaw. The best of the best. The Pro Bowl is quite the opposite. When the top 2 quarterbacks in football have plans the following week, the league replaces them with players who aren’t as good as them. And when even those guys would rather be at home relaxing, the league goes to the next tier of quarterbacks. So essentially we go from Tom Brady to Alex Smith and Andy Dalton.
I can’t even blame these guys. Once you’re past your rookie year and it’s acceptable to be a total douche about everything, why even bother? You would think 16+ games of getting your body battered down week after week is more than enough. In that sense, I totally get why they aren’t looking to blindside the fuck out of each other for no good reason. Their bodies are basically their only way of making a living, and no one’s career is worth risking over something as trivial as the Pro Bowl.
With that being said, the Pro Bowl will always be played at a low level. It will always include players who wouldn’t be considered an All-Star if the real All-Stars accepted the invitation. Pro football is just too vicious for these guys to give it their all in a meaningless game. And while I understand where the players are coming from, absolutely no one wants to watch talent of that caliber half-ass it all game. If everyone isn’t going as hard as Sean Taylor did in the 2006 Pro Bowl when he almost killed a guy mid-game, then I want nothing to do with the Pro Bowl.