Originally written on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 11/5/14
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

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

Marshawn’s press conference to end all press conferences

NFL to assist Seahawks in ID'ing Pats' ineligible receiver sets

Josh Gordon in essay: I'm not an addict

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

Super Bowl records that won't fall anytime soon

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting baby any day

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Pats fans buy Super Bowl tickets, told they're unavailable

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

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Where did 'Hawks, Pats find players?

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.