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Admit It, You Know You Watch the Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl is often vilified yet watched more than any other all-star game.

If I told you that the National Football League’s All-Star game, better known as the Pro Bowl, was the highest-rated of the four major professional league’s all-star games would you believe it? Whether you do or not really doesn’t matter because it’s true. Last year, the Pro Bowl drew about 13.5 million viewers and if you listen to the fans, each and every one of them hated it.

Get on social media during the Pro Bowl and you’ll discover that it might just be compared to things like Nazis, having the flu or having a root canal. Yet amazingly, people still watch. Twitter especially blows up with comments about how horrible the play of the game is. How no one tackles anyone, there’s no blitzing and there’s no effort given by the players.

We get some of the worst interviews in the history of sports interviews because players are constantly photo-bombing each other while the gorgeous young reporter tries to get a sound-byte from a player who just went 60 yards untouched after catching a slant pattern seven yards off the line of scrimmage.

But still, we watch it.

In years gone by the game was always held the week after the Super Bowl which meant you rarely if ever saw players from either of the Super Bowl teams participate and now that trend has gotten even worse. It’s to the point now where if you have so much as a hang nail, you get out of going to the game and a substitute is named for you. There are SIX quarterbacks on the AFC side this season for crying out loud.

The reason we watched the Pro Bowl though was always because it was our last glimpse of football for several months. The end of the Pro Bowl meant hibernation for America’s new pastime and that meant depression for many of us die-hard football fans who were stuck with the NBA while we waited for baseball to get cranked up.

Now that the game is played the week before the Super Bowl, we can no longer use the excuse that it’s the last time we see football for awhile. Still, we’ll find time in our day to watch some of it and you know you will.

Where else will you be able to see one of the all-time great quarterbacks in Peyton Manning call out his ‘idiot kicker’ on national TV? You wouldn’t get that during mid-season. Would you have ever been able to see the late Sean Taylor literally knock Buffalo punter Brian Moorman into next week as he did on the sidelines several years ago? Moorman lay motion-less for a split second before quickly getting up and jogging in a direction that only he knew.

Bill Belichick

Belichick looks out of place without his hoodie.

Where else can you see Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick be forced to ditch the hoodie for a red, Hawaiian style shirt with matching lei around his neck? Seeing him on the sidelines like that reminds me of the look on Ralphie’s face from ‘A Christmas Story’ when he has to put the bunny suit on.

The game is also an opportunity for players to ‘break out’ such as Jeff Blake of the Bengals and Marc Bulger of the Rams when they each won MVP’s of the game. Probably the only time you’ll ever hear the words ‘most valuable player’ associated with either one of those guys. But that’s the Pro Bowl and that’s why we watch it and admitting it is the first step.

The NFC by the way, is a six-point favorite right now according to our friends in Vegas and I’m obliged to agree. If you’re going to watch the Pro Bowl which we all know you are, you might as well lay some green on it right? Dog it all you want to, but the Pro Bowl isn’t going anywhere despite those who despise it. You don’t kill programs that draw 13 million viewers.


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