Originally written on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 1/28/13
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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Braves reportedly aren’t keen on trading Cameron Maybin

Report: Jason Pierre-Paul has burns, possible nerve damage

Rory McIlroy suffered injury in soccer game with friends

Jason Kidd to be named general manager of Bucks

USWNT romps Japan 5-2 to win third Women's World Cup title

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: JPP 'severely injured' hand in fireworks mishap

Blatter: European politicians helped Qatar land World Cup

Report: Cavs considering trading for Joe Johnson

Andrew Quarless found hiding in plant after firing gun

Odell Beckham: I don't want to be known only for 'the catch'

Borland on retirement: Health 'more important' than money

Tsunami survivor fulfills dream by signing with Sporting Lisbon

Andre Johnson reconnects with Chuck Pagano by joining Colts

Lou Williams bolsters Lakers backcourt, but trouble remains

MLB teams who will continue to disappoint in the second half

2015 All-Star starters announced, featuring four Royals

WATCH: Jake Marisnick makes fantastic running catch

WATCH: Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Billy Hamilton

Kansas to wear new USA jerseys after request from FIBA

What can the Saints expect from CJ Spiller in 2015?

Isaiah Thomas trolls Kings after Rajon Rondo signing

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

NFL 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

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.