Thursday, July 21, 2011
Commish for a day: Move Pro Bowl back
By Bill Williamson
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Our divisional bloggers discuss one thing they'd change as commissioner for a day:
One of the changes Roger Goodell has made in his five years as commissioner that I don’t agree with is altering the Pro Bowl format.
In the past couple of years, the Pro Bowl has been played in the week before the Super Bowl, and Hawaii is no longer the permanent home. In the past, the Pro Bowl was played the week after the Super Bowl. I think it worked well. I covered the Pro Bowl several times, and it was always a fun event for players and fans.
Goodell wanted to switch the site around, so he moved it to Miami (the site of the Super Bowl) in 2010 before returning it to Hawaii in 2011. The television ratings in the two years since the change have been good, and I don’t see Goodell ever going back to the former format.
That’s too bad. Having the NFL season end the week after the Super Bowl in Hawaii was a fun conclusion.
Going to Hawaii was a treat for players. I know a lot of them bailed out of the game, but that has happened in the past two years, anyway. I have talked to many players about the subject and they said the idea of going to Hawaii in February with their family and friends was something they all looked forward to.
In the current format, Super Bowl participants can’t play in the Pro Bowl. What kind of sense does that make? An All-Star game without players from the two best teams in the league is a lackluster affair, and I think interest from players in this format will seriously wane in the coming years.
If I were running the show at 280 Park Avenue for a day, I’d push back the Pro Bowl until after the Super Bowl and send it back to the Islands.