Everyone knows that the NFL Pro Bowl is a meaningless exhibition. The only people who watch are kids who don't know any better and gamblers. The game means nothing and the best players would rather sit out than go on a free trip to Hawaii.
Even though it's the most pointless of the professional all-star games, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers still thinks players should show pride for their respective conferences.
Rodgers told ESPN Milwaukee
that he was "embarrassed" by the efforts of some of his NFC teammates.
“I'll be honest with you. I was a little bit disappointed. I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves,” said Rodgers, who was appearing in his second Pro Bowl and started at quarterback for the NFC, completing 13 of 17 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns (139.6 passer rating).
“I feel like there should be some pride involved in a game like that, and I was just surprised by some of the efforts of some of the guys. This was my second Pro Bowl. (I) played in the one in 2010. It was down in Fort Lauderdale/Miami. I felt that that one had a lot more energy.
“The AFC side obviously had more energy. I think they were upset about the second onside kick (called by Packers coach Mike McCarthy), and at that point they played a lot harder than we did. But even in the early going, they were playing definitely harder than we were.”
Ok, maybe some of the AFC players wanted that 50k a little bit more than some of the NFC players. It's an exhibition for crying out loud. Fans don't watch it, it's boring, and I could see more action at a training camp session. Even your teammate T.J. Lang decided to watch 'Antiques Roadshow'
instead of that mess. NFL contracts aren't guaranteed so I can't blame players for half-assing it for a majority of the game. It doesn't count in the standings or on the stat sheet so why care.
Do the players owe the fans a competitive game when their contracts are not guaranteed and the "Pro Bowl" is a glorified scrimmage? I don't blame the players at all for mailing in their performance rather than risk their livelihood on an exhibition game. The game of football is a brutal game at the NFL level. A career ending injury at an exhibition game would be tragic. Ask Robert Edwards about the flag football game on the beach that pretty much ended his career.