“The Pro Bowl was so bad I ________”

On Sunday, the NFC All-Stars defeated the AFC All-Stars 55-41 in one of the most boring games in football history known as the Pro Bowl. The score may have been high, but the interest most certainly was not.

Most viewers had given up at halftime, when the NFC was up 42-7 in a game no one wanted to make tackles.

This shellacking prompted a Twitter contest to see who could come up with the best line to finish this sentence:

“The Pro Bowl was so bad, I ______”. It was started by sports reporter Darren Rovell and among the thousands of responses here are a few that truly sum up the lack of excitement of the game:

“The Pro Bowl was so bad, I turned on The Real Housewives of Atlanta to see someone get tackled.”

“The Pro Bowl was so bad, I offered to lower my salary to $1 if they would end it.”

“The Pro Bowl was so bad, people were hoping for a lockout just for the rest of this game.”

The AFC All-Stars might have come back in the second half, but it didn’t really matter. The damage was already done and the fans had spoken.

The only time the stadium attendants, and seemingly the players, got energized was when a young kid ran onto the field during a break in action. The crowd noise amplified, the players were literally rolling on the ground laughing, and the viewers at home were left with wonderment as the cameras chose to focus on the reactions to this act, rather than the act itself.

It was at this point that I realized that the NFL Pro Bowl is a complete joke. The honor of making the roster is great, but the game itself is totally unnecessary. Forget the week long vacation in Hawaii, the corny sideline reporting and the cheesy flowered shirts that made some of the commentators look more like beach bums checking out of life. Just give the players the title of a “Pro Bowler” and move on because the football matchup is not worth watching.

The game is sloppy because it’s impossible to have everyone operating under one system in a week’s time when each NFL team has a unique set of plays. The timing is off because the play-calling is different, the routes have changed and the players have changed.

Just imagine the difference between a pass by Drew Brees and Michael Vick or between a route run by Dwayne Bowe and then Wes Welker the very next play. They might be professional athletes, but that doesn’t make them impervious to change.

For instance, the AFC squad had a stretch of five plays that featured three turnovers. They finished the game with six total turnovers, five of which were interceptions. Now you tell me if that sounds like a fun game to watch.

The problem with the Pro Bowl is that the only motivation is money. According to Adam Schefter, “Each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $45,000, while each player on the losing team earns $22,500.” Now that may seem like a lot of money, but in pro football terms, that’s pocket change. To put it into perspective, James Harrison would need to win the Pro Bowl twice and get a $10,000 bonus just to pay off his fines from this year.

So the motivation surrounding this game is minimal at best. The players care, to a certain degree, but that’s just because they’re competitive at heart. What they really care about is their health and making sure that the training staff never has to come on the field. With the hard hits and explosiveness removed, due to the fear of an injury, the Pro Bowl becomes a glorified flag football game. Sure, it’s cool to see Matt Ryan complete a pass to Larry Fitzgerald, but if the secondary is operating at half-speed, who really cares? The answer is simple: no one does, not even the players.

So until the time comes when the game actually means something, it will never be worth watching. Maybe Roger Goodell should take some cues from Bud Selig when it comes to this matter. The MLB All-Star game might be lopsided, but at least it matters.

Used with permission of the author.

Los Angeles Based Logan Rhoades is the Associate Editor of the website JocksBehindBars.com. With an extensive knowledge of ESPN topics and celebrity gossip, he is known for mixing sports and pop culture. Check out his “Skip to My Logan” blog and Follow him on Twitter @loganrhoades.

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