Let’s get one thing straight. No normal human likes the Pro Bowl. I’ve seen several mainstream blue checks mention lately that as long as the game still makes money, it’ll stick around and the league will change nothing. As usual though, I tend to go against the grain with my bottomless suggestion box, and the NFL is not exempt from that. As I mentioned earlier, I disagree with the opinion the Las Vegas isn’t good for the NFL. In fact I think there’s very few if any cities that are better suited for special events like the Pro Bowl, Draft, Combine, and whatever other events they can cram into the NFL calendar year, than Vegas. If I were in charge they would no doubt host the three just mentioned every season. Limitless hotels, endless entertainment, and absolutely no shortage of convention halls. I’ll go down several aspects of the Pro Bowl that I would tweak and or remove altogether in an attempt to challenge you other fans out there to think if they would be better substitutes.
Put the NFL All Star week after week 14
First I’ll remind you all that I believe the league will be moving to an 18 game schedule and expanding by four teams in 2027/2028. The timing adds up to when the league has an opt out clause in their recently signed TV deals with the networks and I think they’ll use it so they can sell more games and teams to a bigger variety of networks across both TV and streaming outlets. Moving the game up to the week following the 14th game played by each team give teams not only a little R&R, but give the league a chance to hit the stretch run of four games to end the regular season. This would put the All Star Week around the second week of December when the only other football that’s ever played is typically The Army Navy Game. For the entire week the league can host a slew of scheduled events competitions with the finals happening on that Sunday.
Get rid of the actual Pro Bowl game
And just like that… It’s gone. It’s not a good game. This weekend we were treated to almost double digit turnovers… from All Stars. We’ve also gotten to the point where most players opt out of the game as it is. By the time they actually hit the field we’re usually looking at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th option at some positions, and that’s down right ridiculous. Just announce the AFC and NFC All Pro Teams and move on to the fun stuff. No need to any longer put Pro Bowl incentives in player’s contracts. No need to waste our time with bad football that’s supposed to be from some of the best athletes on the planet. Just do away with the game altogether in favor of giving us something creative and worth watching. Hell, they could actually encourage taunting in this new format.
Expand the Skills Competion
Yeah, I went there. Bring back PowerBall from American Gladiators. Two ball carriers vs three defenders fight for points by trying to put the balls in to the baskets. A full pads and contact on a half court that would be the Oklahoma drill on steroids. Have a pool of 16 ball carriers and 24 defenders or so randomly selected each round with the winners moving on. Have a tiered prize system so as players move on they earn more money. The final round can be four on six. Not only can runners get points for scoring, but defenders can get them for solo tackles and assists. Honestly it already sounds more fun that NFL football has been lately minus a few games this year.
A true punt pass and kick competition
Have quarterbacks engage in a much more rigorously timed accuracy, and arm strength throwing completion. Multiple moving targets, (including wide receivers) at different distances. Balls are placed at different locations on a rack, similar to the three point shooting contest. Moving dummies for the purpose of mimicking pass rush to get QBs mobile. Lastly roaming defensive backs who’s job is to deflect and or intercept as many passes as possible. All quarterbacks, receivers, and DBs can earn points and money for this one in a similar elimination tournament style. Receivers earn points for catches and lose points for dropping catchable balls, while style catches earn more. As for kicking and punting… Look I don’t think these guys are football players, but we live in a time where everyone has to be included. Have kickers and punters kick for distance and accuracy in a similar contest as the QBs are in. Use a system testing micro chips in the ball to score more accuracy points. The more on target you are and or closest to the middle of the goal posts, the more points you get.
Arm wrestling competition
Give me the 64 guys that think they are the strongest and let’s f’ing go!!! Double elimination tournament for money, the big trophy, the bragging rights, and the baddest truck any sponsor is willing to put up. These dude are all jacked and have ridiculous physiques, let’s put it to use. Wouldn’t you love to see Chase Young heads up against Aaron Donald? Joey Bosa vs Tremaine Edmunds? Tyron Smith vs Trent Williams? Come on man. It’s not that much to ask for. I can hear Sammy Hagar’s Winner Takes It All playing in my mind right now. Let’s get this done.
Tough Man Competition
Another no brainer. A boxing tournament. If you didn’t know, this is where Mr T actually was found. He won the very first two Tough man competitions. This is what led to him getting the role of Clubber Lang in Rocky III. This one would separate the men from the boys, no doubt. You can add player safety to the mix by either having they entrants wear larger gloves and or head gear. I’d rather they didn’t but I’m not the insurance policy writer for NFL players. No weight classes for this by the way, just bring your balls and let’s get ready to rumble. Once upon a time the league encouraged being physical and synonymous with being… tough. Make the NFL manly again.
There is soooo many things the League can do with this. A running back gauntlet comes to mind. This high octane final competition was always so fun to watch. I loved the variation where runners had to choose the right path at the end or potentially be crushed when they came crashing through the paper wall. Players throwing medicine balls at the runners as they try to run the spining log. The net climb, the wall, and maybe throw in a few of the elements of the Assault while we’re at it.
I don’t know about you guys but I think a week long competition with these kinds of events would be simply the best. Throw in the award ceremonies for MVP, Rookie of the year, best offensive and defensive players, coach of the year, etc, and you have just created the best All Star week in sports. Play all the final rounds on Sunday, crown em, and they can head home to prepare for the home stretch. Lord knows they’d never actually do any of this because it goes against the brand and protecting the shield. But hey, we can dream big right? No harm in that at all. Let me know in the comment section what you guys would do to improve the All Star Week. I’d definitely be interested to hear your ideas.
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