OT: Pro Bowl changes: No more kickoffs, Pro Bowl Draft, AFC v. NFC scrapped

Submitted by DISCUSS Man on July 31st, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Just came across the wire.


NFL eliminated traditional AFC-NFC Pro Bowl matchup; will be replaced with Pro-Bowl fantasy-like draft, per ESPN sources.


Now players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft (really). Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will be draft captains.



No more kickoffs in Pro Bowl. Rosters will consist of 43 players per squad. Game will be played Jan 26 in Honolulu.



July 31st, 2013 at 1:53 PM ^

Who cares? Nobody watches or cares about the game anyway. 

Edit: Not ragging on you, OP, it's certainly news; my reaction is directed more at the NFL, since I know they read this blog and stuff.


July 31st, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

So to you (and everybody else saying "Who cares?  Nobody watches..."'), I say NOW PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY WATCH!  Wouldn't you love to see Aaron Rodgers getting sacked by Clay Matthews?  Or Marshawn Lynch trucking Richard Sherman?


Hell, just the fantasy draft alone would be entertaining television, just to see how teammates fuck with each other during the draft.  Have you seen the fantasy draft for the NHL All Star game?  Now multiply that by 25, add in Leon Sandcastle and other personalities, and ordinary fans helping to pick the teams, and you have some serious fun.


As for the game itself, they've made it safer, with more action for the fans.  It's an incredibly astute move.  My only complaint is that it is coming years too late.


July 31st, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

Should be more fun than the old format, but that isn't saying much. The NFL, NBA, and NHL should scrap their all-star games, because the quality of play is well below the level of even the sloppiest preseason game. The baseball all-star game isn't so bad, because baseball has very little contact and players can try to win without increasing their injury risk much.


July 31st, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

SI.com covers some of the other modifications made, including two I found interesting:

"Defenses will be allowed to use Cover Two and press coverage. In previous years, only man coverage was allowed outside of goal-line situations."

"A 35-/25-second play clock will be used instead of the typical 40-/25-second clock."

There seems to be an indication that these will be on-time changes for the next Pro Bowl, and then the NFL will sit down and assess how things went. 


July 31st, 2013 at 2:51 PM ^

why they are at it why not make it a game pitting the best players drafted in rounds 1- 4 against those taken from rounds 5 and beyond including undrafted players


July 31st, 2013 at 3:22 PM ^

Honestly, they would be just as well off replacing the game with some skill contests featuring all pro players, maybe even a 7on7 game or something.  No one wants to risk injury playing in a real game, and the resulting lack of effort already makes it something other than a real football game.  So get a little more creative than shaking the teams up.  Give us something unique that we can't see anything like it during the season.

Make it a couple of days event, too.... Do a day of celebrities and ex players playing flag ball, that kind of thing - like the NBA does with its celebrity game.  I think there's actually a bit of an audience for that kind of thing.  I wouldn't watch it personally, but it seems like the kind of thing some people would tune in for.

Benoit Balls

July 31st, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

if they did it like the the old school "battle of the network stars" format, have a 100M dash, some passing drills where there are targets in the beds of pickup trucks speeding across the field, obstacle courses, guys wrestling in those fake sumo suits, etc, that'd be awesome.

If they're going down this road (which is at least better than it was) they should go all the way, make it flag football, but then make all 11 guys eligible receivers, and maybe tweak a rule so a backward lateral that is fumbled is simply considered a dead ball. It'd be kind of crazy, but somewheat entertaining.

All that being said, the last time I watched the Pro-Bowl was roughly 1986. 


July 31st, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

I think that within the next 5-8 years, we'll see kickoffs removed entirely from all NFL games.  When you have 22 massive people running full speed at each other from across the field, injuries are far worse than at the line of scrimmage.  One of many changes I can see the NFL considering to make the game safer.