The Pro Bowl is this Sunday and the NFL hopes to gauge the effort the players put forth this year to determine if there will be a Pro Bowl next year.
For the last few years, the league has come under criticism for the lack of competitiveness in the Pro Bowl. Last year the players were nearly booed off the field by fans for the amount of effort they put forth.
However honored a player may be that fans chose them as the best at their position, they don’t want to get hurt in an “unimportant” game and jeopardize their teams upcoming season.
According to the New York Times, the NFL will make a decision whether the Pro Bowl should continue past this season before next season’s schedule is released.
NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson addressed the issue at a press conference held tuesday to kick off Pro Bowl week. He said:
“Our hope is that the players will give the same effort and energy that allowed them to become roster members of this Pro Bowl.”
Roger Goodell nearly cancelled this year’s Pro Bowl but was convinced to give the players one last chance to prove they deserve it.
Players appear to be getting the message. Chicago Bears defensive back Charles Tillman says:
“We owe it to our fans, we owe it to our viewers, to give them a little more effort than we did last year.”
Anderson says the league has looked into alternative to the Pro Bowl, including competitive skill competitions. So far nothing have been found that lives up to the standards fans expect.
At least the fans are guaranteed the standard they expect in two weeks when the Harbaugh brothers face off in the Super Bowl.
What do you think? Should the Pro Bowl continue to exist if the players don’t take it seriously?