As a lifelong NFL fan, I know I’m not alone when I say that this weekend is by far the least anticipated weekend of the season. Yes, even less anticipated than a random week in the offseason. The Pro Bowl is hands down the worst ‘All-Star Game’ (yes, I put that phrase in quotes because it’s that bad) in all of the major sports, and it’s not hard to see why.
First off, and I think most importantly, it means nothing. NOTHING. The winner receives no advantage for actually winning, making the game more or less a half-assed backyard pickup game between of bunch of NFL players in Hawaii.
Second, half of the players end up dropping out (not surprisingly) due to injuries, scheduled surgeries, or because they really just don’t feel like playing after getting knocked out of the playoffs. Or because they’re playing in the Super Bowl (congratulations, Ravens and 49ers fans!).
Does anyone really think Aaron Rodgers is going to get psyched for the Pro Bowl after his team loss a disappointing playoff game against the 49ers? Considering how Rodgers feels about the Pro Bowl in general (which seems to be the general consensus among several players), no way!
With guys like Rodgers dropping out left and right, spots open up for deserving players like Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, which is great. For them. For the fans, the Pro Bowl essentially turns into a war of attrition. Those who are willing to go end up playing, and those who are willing to play generally end up going. For everyone else, the season was grueling enough, so why risk more injuries?
Lastly, the game itself is not even entertaining. The game is so stripped down, due to (understandable) attempts to avoid injuries, lack of prep time for coaches, and lack of cohesiveness among players from several teams, that it hardly resembles the game us fans tune in to watch week to week.
Overall, as a result of the factors above, the Pro Bowl is essentially a backyard touch football game between the second- and third-best players at their respective positions for some nominal form of bragging rights.
I’m not even upset at the players. I mean, if I were Rodgers, why would I want to go to Hawaii to remind myself of the fact that my team missed the Super Bowl?
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