The Revamped NFL Pro Bowl Takes a Hit in the Ratings
Maybe the Grammys are that much more popular?
Or maybe the Pro Bowl is nothing more than a glorified exhibition that not a lot of NFL fans enjoy anymore.
I will be the first to admit that I didn't watch the NFL Pro Bowl, and I'm a huge fan of the NFL. My criticisms of the NFL don't prevent me from liking their product, although I think a lot of things don't need to be tampered with because, like the old adage goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
However, the Pro Bowl is broken.
This year's fix didn't work. I felt like the NFL was trying too hard by redesigning an already troubled All-Star game. I couldn't buy into the newly implemented draft format. Call me a traditionalist, but I enjoy the whole 'AFC versus NFC' concept simply because I enjoy rivalries. I don't want to watch players from the same team, especially my favorite team, play against each other. Who am I supposed to root for? Cleveland's TJ Ward making a big hit on Cleveland's Josh Gordon?
The whole Team Sanders versus Team Rice concept was ridiculous. How long will that last?
When Deion and Jerry both played, I was in awe of what they did on the field, but I couldn't get excited about those two Hall of Famers coaching against each other.
I completely dislike the idea of playing the Pro Bowl in one location every year, too. I understand that a free Hawaiian trip is a perk that attracts players, but it's a bummer for fans, most of whom can't afford to go on a luxury vacation in January. If the location was actually stateside, the NFL might have better luck filling the stands and attracting new fans. A half-seated arena in Honolulu every year is an eyesore.
Maybe the Commish should pay the players more to participate. Unfortunately, more money is always an incentive to play harder and what these athletes make for the Pro Bowl, win or lose, isn't comparable at all to their salaries, especially in a multi-billion-dollar corporation like the NFL.
Altering rules and redesigning uniforms had little effect. The NFL certainly didn't attract any new consumers. At 11.7million viewers, their product has gradually declined over the years.
I don't know what the answer is -- maybe it's the Pro Bowl Drinking Game -- but I'm sure Goodell and his team of sycophants can't be so arrogant as to think that if they just throw something together, people will watch.
Unless maybe Taylor Swift or Daft Punk suit up.