Ah, the Pro Bowl -- so many memories. The awful uniforms, the half-hearted tackling, the awful uniforms, Don Ho performing at halftime, the awful uniforms, the coaches wearing Hawaiian-patterned shirts, and did we mention the awful uniforms?
The Pro Bowl had clearly outlived its usefulness, but it's still a shame to see it go, if only because of the comic relief it provided each year. And really, wouldn't you like to see what Nike would have done with the Pro Bowl uniforms? It would have been the perfect venue for their designers to go crazy.
Most fans probably don't realize that Pro Bowl uniforms used to be boring, not wacky. That basic uni format -- the NFC wearing blue over white, the AFC wearing white over red, and both squads wearing generic-looking helmets -- was the standard Pro Bowl look from the time of the AFL-NFL merger until 1979, when the look of the game started to change. Here's a selective timeline of what happened after that:
2003-2004: Things start to get seriously weird, as the conference logos appear on huge, splotch-like pants panels and the NFC wears a solid-blue uni.
2005-2006: The splotch on the pants is replaced by a dagger-stripe of stars. And in an inspired move (or, if you prefer, a very Arena League-esque move), the Pro Bowl logo is included underneath the uni number on the back of the jersey.
But now it appears that there won't be a next year -- too bad. Farewell, Pro Bowl. You'll be missed.
Paul Lukas still holds out hope that the NBA and NHL will continue to come up with crazy all-star uniform designs. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his daily Uni Watch website, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.