NFL The Pro Bowl farce is coming to an end

NFL: The Pro Bowl farce is coming to an end

When the NFL announced this week that it would end the Pro Bowl in its current form, no one protested. On the contrary, it was high time for the league to admit the prank had lasted long enough.

• Also read: The Pro Bowl formula modified for “Flag Football”

Of all sports combined, soccer is the sport least suited to a believable all-star game. Contact is so much a part of the game that requiring players to risk injury to entertain the crowds when nothing is at stake has become unthinkable.

Presented since 1951, the Pro Bowl has long piqued the interest of fans, but increasingly the game was played without the slightest conviction. It is easy to understand that after a physically and mentally demanding season, the players do not yearn for another abandonment derby.

New formula

As a result, the show has steadily declined until it’s become a real disgrace in recent years. The NFL has tried some experiments to stimulate waning interest, to no avail.

The league unveiled its intention to transform the traditional Pro Bowl into a week-long event focused on skill competitions, culminating in the presentation of a “flag football” game.

The match as such between the stars of the American conference and those of the national conference had become less manly than a Tupperware demonstration anyway.

You might as well try to shake things up by entrusting the event to former star quarterback Peyton Manning and his company Omaha Productions. Knowing that he himself was voted to the Pro Bowl 14 times and has listened to player complaints over the years is an interesting starting point.

Over the years, the NFL has had increasing problems attracting players. Some attended the Super Bowl, others nurtured injuries, and the less interested used every reason not to attend this masquerade.

The honor of being selected has always been important to players, but not taking part in this game, which isn’t one.

While 88 players are invited each year, no fewer than 135 were accepted into the roster in 2016. That shows how far we had to go.

It was obviously a problem, but Commissioner Roger Goodell and his cronies stubbornly continued to present the Pro Bowl as long as the ratings stayed at the rendezvous. At the last Pro Bowl, ratings were at an all-time low and the league pulled the plug.

Everything is not settled

Turning to a new formula is good, but all is not settled. The player selection process, which too often resembles a popularity contest, doesn’t seem to be questioned.

In that sense, the All-Star (All Pro) team is much more revealing than the Pro Bowl invitees, who are often the substitutes of the substitutes.

Yep, it’s too common for players who get named to the All-Star team to be shunned at the Pro Bowl, which is bullshit. For example, in 2018, of the 27 players selected to the All-Star team, six were not invited to the Pro Bowl, or 22% of the most deserving.

The new formula will certainly not be perfect, but at least it will have the merit of no longer pretending to present a real match.

5 things to watch out for


Rarely have we seen a player impact an attack as much as Lamar Jackson this season. Not only does he lead quarterbacks in 10 touchdown passes, but he also ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards (243 yards). He combined passing and running and was responsible for 12 touchdowns for the Ravens. Alone it has more than 29 of the 32 teams!


The Patriots are in Green Bay, possibly without quarterback Mac Jones. The news was a bombshell among bookies, who favor the Packers by 10 points. why talk about it Because according to ESPN, this is only the second time in the last 20 seasons that the Patriots have been neglected by at least 10 points. Last time out in 2020 against the Chiefs, they were underdogs by 11 points and lost by 16 points.


For only the fifth time since the NFL’s merger with the AFL in 1970, after three weeks of activity, only two teams have yet to claim a win: the Raiders (0-3) and the Texans (0-2-1). This had already happened in 2012, 1990, 1989 and 1988. The last time a single team went 0-3 after three weeks was in 1959, thanks to the Lions.


This week and next, NFL players have the opportunity to identify their country of origin or that of their immediate family by wearing the flag on their helmet. Thus, 14 Canadian players have decided to take the initiative, including Montreal’s Benjamin St-Juste, with the commanders. Other participating Canadians include Chase Claypool (Steelers), Joshua Palmer (Chargers), Chuba Hubbard (Panthers) and Neville Gallimore (Cowboys).


Even at 32, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce shows no signs of slowing down. He has 17 receptions for 230 yards this season. He could climb to fifth in history this week if he adds 51 yards to his mileage. In the tight ends, Tony Gonzalez is far ahead with 15,127 yards, followed by Jason Witten (13,046 yards), Antonio Gates (11,841 yards), Shannon Sharpe (10,060 yards) and Rob Gronkowski (9,286 yards).