How to fix NFL’s Pro Bowl

 

The National Football League’s Pro Bowl sounds like a football fan’s dream – the best players in the league playing against each other.
What could be better?
As it turns out, a lot.
Those familiar with the annual all-star NFL event know very well the overall “meh” feeling that fans experience from the game.
And while this year did see a bump, ratings have been on the decline for years.
So here are a few ideas to spice up this several decade-long marriage between fans and the game.

Switch to flag football

One of the biggest complaints players have for the Pro Bowl is the risk of injury. Not too shockingly, players do not want to risk their livelihood on a game that has no implication on the season and only yields a minimal payoff. The best way tofix this issue is to get rid of contact altogether. Any excessive force will result in the player being temporarily “benched” for someone else on the roster. In addition to a much less chance of injury, players will be able to show their smiling faces to their fans without requiring a helmet to be on. Just imagine the photo opportunity of Antonio Brown winking at the camera while making a catch in the end zone.

Schedule right after regular season ends

Another common complaint is the fact that players from the two best teams DON’T EVEN PLAY IN THE PRO BOWL. Devonta Freeman may be one of the best running backs in the game right now, but with the chance that his team could be in the Super Bowl, there was zero chance he was going to play in the Pro Bowl. Having the game take place before the postseason even starts means everyone is free to play and adds a nice break between the regular and postseason.

Include former All Pro players

Similar to what the NBA does, an ex-player/celebrity game can be an easy fix to the ratings problem. Bringing in big-time names would draw in the NFL fan base and those unfamiliar with the sport. A touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Papa John would make everyone, especially the pizza company, very happy.

Encourage celebrations

We all remember this celebration. Regardless of how you feel about celebrations, the Pro Bowl should be a time when having fun is celebrated itself. Childhood fantasies of catching a touchdown in the Super Bowl never end with just the catch. You need a touchdown dance too. Players pick a charity and best celebration gets a sizable donation to the player’s charity.

50-yard field

Higher scoring games, more incentive for longer passes, just like the backyard football days. By eliminating half the field, you remove the need for punting and the game will be much more exciting when half the field is red zone, almost like college overtime.

 

by Morgan Krohngold

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