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Is It Time To Bench The NFL Pro Bowl

For anyone who watched the 60 minutes of garbage the NFL called football yesterday, I doubt you'll need much convincing.  Seeing the AFC sleepwalk through much of the first half, fall behind 42-0, then 'force' some turnovers - including a Devin Hestor fumble on a kick-off return - as both teams ran up the score was, well, unwatchable.  At least if you are a fan of the real game - one that includes defense.

Look, I get it.  Players are concerned about getting hurt in a meaningless game - I don't blame them - so they go at half speed hoping to avoid any kind of contact.  It kind of reminds me of a pre-season game - which for reasons such as this has the NFL trying to extend the regular season to 18-games.

Perhaps it is time to bench the Pro Bowl as well.  It's an idea whose time has passed.  There is no good way to make it better.  Football, by nature, is a violent sport.  Take the violence out of it and what you are left with is a shell of the game.  It's awful.  

Moving it back to Hawaii was a failure as well.  At least last year - when the game was played the week before the Super Bowl on the same field in Miami - it added to the build up of the game.  Players complained - they enjoy the trip to Hawaii - but from a PR standpoint having the game in Hawaii, a week before the Super Bowl, makes it a hard cover for media outlets who have already cut most employees.  With FOX also covering the Super Bowl, we were left with Terry Bradshaw in the booth - not pretty.

Perhaps it is time to call it what it is.  A waste of time.  There is too much money - and too much effort put into protecting players - to continue.  At least there are players fighting for jobs during the preseason.  What I watched yesterday were some of the greatest athletes in the world fake playing the greatest sport in the world.  The NFL is better than that, the fans deserve more than that.  

Put the Pro Bowl on the bench, permanently.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.