For Some Reason, The NFL Will Keep The Pro Bowl
There had been rumors over the past several months that the National Football League was finally going to put football fans out of their misery and put an end to the sad spectacle of the Pro Bowl which, whether it’s been held before or after the Super Bowl, has been something of a joke when it comes to sports All-Star games. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll be dealing with the Pro Bowl for another year at least:
NEW YORK — After receiving a promise from players that the game will be more competitive, the NFL will hold the Pro Bowl Jan. 27 in Honolulu, a week before the Super Bowl.
Commissioner Roger Goodell had made it clear that canceling the game was a possibility after the uninspired play of this year’s 59-41 AFC victory. After discussions between the league and the players’ union, the NFL announced Wednesday that Aloha Stadium would host the Pro Bowl for the third straight year.
It will be the 33rd Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
“The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii,” NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson said.
Well of course they do, it’s a free trip to Hawaii, who wouldn’t want to go? It also appears that Hawaii’s tourism board played a role in this decision:
News of the Pro Bowl’s return was met with praise by Hawaii tourism officials and Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Both Abercrombie and Mike McCartney, chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, hinted the state plans to deepen its ties to the league by helping it establish relationships in Asia — a continent with several major markets for tourism to the Aloha State.
“Beyond Hawaii’s shores, we look forward to assisting the NFL in expanding upon their relationships in Japan, and help them to establish a presence in China — both important markets for Hawaii tourism,” McCartney said.
Of course why the NFL, which has already played games in Mexico and Europe, would need Hawaii’s help in establishing its brand in Asia I don’t quite understand. The reality, of course, is that the Pro Bowl brings in a nice little bundle of cash for Hawaii every year, so it’s in their interest to keep the game around.
It also appears, that there are actually people who watch the thing on television, although I must confess I’m not one of them. All-Star games in general are usually pretty boring, but the Pro Bowl in particular suffers from the fact that the best players from the two teams that play in the Super Bowl either don’t show up at all, or wisely decide to bench themselves to avoid injury. Not to mention the fact that defense generally seems to be non-existent; in the last twelve Pro Bowl’s an average of 71 points have been scored by both teams. Not exactly a defensive struggle, eh?