The annual AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, or what should really be called the “Take my family to Hawaii and not play” bowl had its rosters announced on Tuesday, and it was nice to see some new names and faces get credit for the job they have done to this point in the 2006 season. Right off the bat in the NFC, three very deserving QB’s will take the snaps for the squad, including possible MVP Drew Brees, Rams QB Marc Bulger and a guy that wasn’t even starting till October – Tony Romo of Dallas. The AFC throwers are Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, and Phillip Rivers. How interesting to see Brees, the former Chargers QB, and Rivers, the current Bolt thrower, both make the team.
Frank Gore of the 49’ers, who has had some monster games, Tiki Barber and Stephen Jackson round out the NFC RB’s. On the AFC side, you have L.T., which is no shock whatsoever, Willie Parker of the Steelers and Larry Johnson of the Chiefs. I would take any of those three on my team anyday. The WR’s in the AFC are Andre Johnson, Chad Johnson, and two Colts – Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
Out in the NFC, you have Torry Holt, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin and Donald Driver as the wide outs, with Alge Crumpler and loudmouth Jeremy Shockey as the tight ends. The AFC tight ends are Tony Gonzalez of the Chiefs and the starter will be Antonio Gates.
I have always had the opinion of the Pro Bowl as being rather unnecessary, as you can bet about 1/3 of the players named to the team above will pull out of the game with some injury, or another lame excuse why they can’t lace it up one more time before the offseason. In a way, I can’t blame them. You have a situation where a player has to start attending mini-camps April through June, go through a long training camp from July to mid August, play 4 meaningless preseason games, 16 regular season games, and then if you lucky, up to four postseason games. Makes for a long season.
The last thing most of these players want to do after all that, is board a plane, head to Hawaii for a week, and then have to put on pads for a few light practices then play a three hour game with a half empty stadium. For those of us that actually watch this thing on TV, the broadcast is mostly filled with shots of broadcasters in shorts and flowered shirts laughing and talking about how great their week in the warm weather was.
In other words, the NFL should really take a hard look at taking this “game” and dumping it down the toilet. It gets nowhere near the attention, nor should it, of the NBA or MLB All-Star games, and since its played on an island, most anyone that dreams of ever attending the game is probably out of luck. For the players, the fans, and everyone else involved, get rid of it. Name your All-stars, or Pro-Bowlers and leave it at that. By February 10th, we all need a rest from the weekly emotion that comes with watching the National Football League.