Originally written January 28, 2013 on Awful Announcing:
The Pro Bowl is a joke.  You know it.  I know it.  The NFL and NBC most certainly know it.  The game is such a joke that jokes about the game are even getting old fast and seem as fresh as Tebowing. We've reached some sort of absurd meta level of ridiculousness that everyone involved with the Pro Bowl from the players to the referees to the announcers promote the farcical nature of the exhibition.  I mean come on, an NFC player snapping the ball to an AFC player?  I know Jeff Saturday and Peyton Manning were teammates for a really long time and it's such an adorable photo op, but isn't he lined up in an offside position?  Aren't there about 17 illegal things happening here?  I'm just waiting for someone to be sacked with a bucket of confetti. But in spite of what the Pro Bowl offers with dozens of players skipping the game and the rest not really giving a darn, millions and millions of viewers around America still tune in to watch because anything the NFL touches turns to gold.  You could pit a team of junior college players against a ragtag group of XFL veterans, slap NFL logos on them, and still win the night in ratings.  For reasons unbeknownst to me, 12.5 million people watched the Pro Bowl Sunday night: NBC expected to win Sunday night on strength of Pro Bowl, which did 7.7 o'night. 2012 Pro Bowl (7.9 o'night) finished w 12.5 million viewers — NBCSportsPR (@NBCSportsPR) January 28, 2013 While it's not close to the 40 something million that tuned in over championship weekend, it's still a massive number in the general context of sports outside the NFL.  Consider that more people watched an exhibition football game with the defensive intensity of a Mike D'Antoni walkthrough than Game 1 of the World Series.  More people watched a game where a backwards onside kick was attempted than the Stanley Cup Finals.  Or the Orange Bowl.  Or golf's US Open. Just how ridiculously popular is the NFL?  With help from the impressive ratings database that is Sports Media Watch and through scouring the web, here's a list of real, presitigious sporting events that were outdrawn by the Pro Bowl if that 12.5 million number holds... *Games 1-3 of the World Series - 12.2, 12.3, 10.5 million viewers *Kansas vs UNC Elite Eight - 11.7 million viewers *LSU vs Alabama football - 11.4 million viewers *Games 1-6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals - Max 11.1 million viewers *MNF Panthers vs Eagles - 10.7 million viewers *Orange Bowl (NIU v FSU) - 10.5 million viewers *US Olympic Gymnastic Trials - 10.0 million viewers *Final Round US Open Golf - 9.6 million viewers *NBA Western Conference Finals - Max 9.6 million viewers *Michigan vs Ohio State football - 9.5 million viewers *Olympic Men's Tennis Final - 8.6 million viewers *Belmont Stakes - 7.7 million viewers *Coca Cola 600 - 7.4 million viewers *Indianapolis 500 - 6.8 million viewers *Ryder Cup Day 3 - 5.5 million viewers *Stanley Cup Final - Max 4.9 million viewers *Heisman Trophy Ceremony - 4.9 million viewers *Olympic Gold Medal Women's Soccer Final - 4.4 million viewers *NASCAR Chase for the Cup - 4.2 million viewers *Baylor vs Notre Dame WBB National Championship - 4.2 million viewers *UFC on Fox 6 - 3.8 million viewers *UEFA Champions Leage Final - 2.0 million viewers *MLS Cup Final - 797,000 viewers
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

Adam Dunn to retire after 14-year MLB career

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Grading each NFL's team's play at quarter-season mark

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

Packers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.