Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden says that the Pro-Bowl changes will not affect the games marketability.
The Pro-Bowl has struggled for a long time to attract fans because of its lack of competitiveness.
Players are simply unwilling to risk an injury in a game that does not mean anything to their team or season.
Madden says that’s the real problem and format changes won’t make a difference.
“If they’re going to have captains and pick teams and stuff, I think that’s minutia — I don’t think that means anything,” Madden said on Sirius XM according to ProFootballTalk. “It’s still going to be how they play the game. Two years ago it was terrible, and it was embarrassing. Everyone agreed it was embarrassing, including the players who played in it. Something had to be done. It couldn’t go on that way. Last year I thought they played a little harder. Whether you have captains and you pick or whatever, it’s still going to boil down to how they play the game.”
All that isn’t to say that Madden blames the players for the way they treat it.
“I understand the reasons they don’t — if you get through a season and you’re healthy and you want to stay that way, there are a lot of reasons,” Madden went on. “But if those reasons become too strong then we probably ought to consider doing away with the Pro Bowl.”
Madden is right. It may be time to just do away with the whole thing. Suggest an alternative. Bring in an All-Pro skills competition like hockey has and just remove the full game.
Something along the lines of a scouting combine for All-Pros.
Either way, the NFL is going to have to do more than change the format of the game because the players flat out don’t want to play in it.
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