Pro Bowl coming to New Orleans?

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
10:23
AM ET
It appears as if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might not be done punishing New Orleans.

Goodell said at Tuesday’s league meeting in Atlanta that New Orleans, along with Honolulu, is a candidate to host this season’s Pro Bowl. New Orleans already is the site for this season’s Super Bowl.

In the distant past, I would have said getting the Pro Bowl would be a wonderful thing for New Orleans. But, have you watched the Pro Bowl in recent years, particularly this past season?

If you did, you saw a game in which offensive and defensive linemen barely touched each other and a stadium filled with fans in Hawaii booed an obvious lack of effort. The Pro Bowl has outlived its usefulness and the NFL knows it.

The game used to be played the week after the Super Bowl. In an attempt to make it more relevant, the NFL moved it to the week before the Super Bowl. That didn’t help and it might have made things even worse because Super Bowl participants can’t play in the Pro Bowl.

There even has been some talk about simply doing away with the Pro Bowl. The league still is having discussions about what to do with the Pro Bowl and nothing has been resolved.

“If we can’t improve it and can’t make it more competitive, then we shouldn’t play,” Goodell said.

I vote for scrapping the Pro Bowl. I don’t see how the league can improve it or make it more competitive. Players don’t want to risk injury after their season is over. The product is unwatchable.

But Goodell said, if a Pro Bowl is held this season, it will be held either in New Orleans or Honolulu.

Is that really necessary? I say no. I say Pro Bowl teams still should be elected. Hold some sort of ceremony in New Orleans the week of the Super Bowl to honor the Pro Bowlers. But there’s no sense playing a game players and fans don’t care about.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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