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'Pro Bowl, more like Joe Schmo bowl'
Ryan Seefus
Antelope Staff

For the last 29 years, the NFL Pro Bowl has been held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. This year, Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to hold the Pro Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida. That was his first mistake.


A total of 31 players that were selected by the public to play in the Pro Bowl decided to decline the honor.


Why?


Apparently players and their families would rather go to Hawaii than Miami Gardens, Florida. I could have guessed that, but after Goodell’s decision, it doesn’t appear to be common knowledge.
The commissioner also chose to hold the game a week before the Super Bowl, when it has traditionally been held a week after “the big game.”



That was his second mistake.


The schedule change eliminated the chance for players who competed in the Super Bowl to play in the Pro Bowl, including MVP Peyton Manning. Besides Manning, 13 other players were not able to participate in the all-star game due to scheduling stupidity. Any football fan and especially the commissioner should know that the teams who reach the Super Bowl normally have more talent than the teams who don’t make it to the final game.


Now I know that there is such thing as the Cinderella team in sports, but that is definitely not the case this year. The Colts opened the regular season with a 14-0 record, the best in football. As for the Saints, they were led by Drew Brees, one of the most aggressive and efficient quarterbacks in the NFL. I might add one sentence to update or reword slightly since the Cinderella team did win?


The Pro Bowl definitely missed Manning and Brees. Initially, the “should be backup” all-star quarterbacks controlled the game well. But the third string quarterbacks, promoted to second string thanks to Goodell, practically brought the game to a halt. Their inability to complete anything but a screen pass had Manning and Brees cringing on the sidelines.


Between the schedule and venue change, a total of 45 of the best players in the NFL sat out for the Pro Bowl game. The contest proved to be lacking something or someone. Actually, it was the two ineligible quarterbacks watching from the sidelines.


What did you expect?  


If the commissioner changed the schedule to increase the hype surrounding the all-star game, he did just that. Although he was successful in doing so, he actually sparked more negative publicity than positive. The NFL is one of the most lucrative professional sports in the world and the commissioner tainted the purity of this year’s Pro Bowl for the almighty dollar.


Reporter Clayton Kush
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