I'm an ideas guy and that is what I am suggesting here, a place for ideas the might somehow then find its way to the hands of the NFL for the betterment of the "Pro" Bowl.
Issues: 1. All year long we fans have watched our favorite players and marvelled at the skills and abilities (*or we're just homies and voted him in because he's on our team).
2. Now it is time to "honor" them by: A. watching them play on a team of their peers (and give them a chunk of cash for getting selected), and B. see if there is actually going to be a game or just sudden streaks of a Qb and a Reciever trying to get it into the endzone while the O-line and d-linemen take 2 steps and then stop and talk about the people at the pool.
The Issues: 1.the season is over the athletes are tired, 2. some people's seasons ended a month ago and now they are in competition with guys who are still mentally and physically Game-Ready. 3. the Worry of Injury in a "meaningless game" (ie-this is an honor game, the real team that is counting on me does not want me getting hurt--neither do I), 4. what if I hurt someone else with my effort (kind of a blackball mentallity because I was trying and didn't know you weren't, oops, my bad; sorry you're hurt), and 5. sure this is the ProBowl but only the first timers consider it a game (I mean think about how much timing it takes for qb's to get on the same page with receivers, backs to learn the amount of patience necessary because of their linemen's blocking ability and style, etc.) so in order to not have a bunch of us prideful men go out there and give out best and put our hearts into it only to face many of the hurdles we worked on way back in Training Camp...we'll just give it the ole fak-a-roony (we learned this from watching others get too near professional soccer players and punters).
Their concerns are justifiable, BUT, on the other hand the NFL is telling its faithful fanbase that its favorite players and members of their favorite teams will be battling it out with one another for the pride of being named the best of the best, Pro Bowl Players. So it really looks bad and feels like a mockery when you get a crap game (sure I blew 10K to fly over, rent a car and a hotel, paid for food and souvenirs and a ticket to the game...just to watch a Terrible performance, a joke......uh, but hey, I can say I went, maybe I got and autograph or pictures ...and it was Hawaii; so I guess I am okay with it -what are the options).
So what can be done?
Well I will suggest so things and some rationales and you give your thoughts and ideas and let's see if we can come up with some plausible thoughts to pass on to the Higher Ups in the NFL for their consideration. I would suggest that we use the format of Brainstorming and that is that contributors should feel free to add their thoughts, but with Brainstorming the concept is to amass a pool of thoughts, ideas and concepts, rationales and hopes and then get them all out there BEFORE Critiquing. BrainStorming is Ideas based and as the name implies it asks for a storm, a flood of ideas...so open your mind and just let out anything you honestly feel might fit within the framework of Players, Pro Bowl, Competition, and Event that Fans would love to See/Experience their Players or their Players Pro Bowl Team do/participate in.
Phase II of the Process is when Critiquing comes into play, so hold those thoughts or refrain from taking chops at other's ideas until we have emptied the creative reserves of all those in reader land.
The Pro Bowl.
Words that come to mind for me are: Pro = competition and competitiveness -and then how will we see the "pros" show that which got them there (skills, tenacity, drive, power, etc.). Also for me Pro indicates the person, not just his skills but the team he represents (so in someway he carries the home team, and their fans, with him onto the field of play).
The Bowl part of the word seems to indicate to me: Team and trying to win a game.
I have never seen a football game I felt was thrown but the ProBowls are as close as it comes and they make me feel kind of sick that it is called a game (as in true competition)...it feels to me a mockery of both the Pro-the person, and Bowl-the true/real competition.
I get the Injury issue but I think that the players are the ones who have become the "Standard Bearers" who are determining the rate and depth of the competition. And we have seen what that looks like so it is time to change the system so that it, the system, tell the players what it is that they are signing up for and going to be doing IF they accept a Pro Bowl invitation.
We the fans want to see Football. So... 2 parts...
1. I think that means Qb's trying to beat Db's... so we see THE best Receivers going skills for skills with the best Defensive Backs.
2. or seeing the Running back trying to break tackles, gain yards and or score
Suggestions: 1. 7 on 7 skills, one qb (on a timer to simulate the time in the pocket) and then a balance of receivers against db's. --whether the O & D linemen are on the field or not is up to creative suggestion
2. running game: Possibly pre-fab. scenarios like down and distance. The defense and offense get the same number of personel (no receivers or the corresponding dbs) and then the Offense has X number of plays they can call and the same limited options of defensive alignments for the defense (same for same). Both O and D can choose their own alignment But while in the RUN Section/Time of the competition only the Backs can be the movers of the ball. So that can mean by any of the agreed running plays or by a pass to either the Halfback or Fullback...this would keep the Defense honest and not stacking the box.
Seems to me if you shrink the Offense and Defense down to their specific areas, Run Or Pass, it means they have to shine or be shamed.
Another option would be (and this comes from an NFL saying, the great thing about their offense is they said they were going to run the ball, everybody knew it, and they did it -successfully- anyways): Give both sides the plays pre-snap but after the Defense is set in their alignment (thus no shifting on either side). Now it is man on man, I know what you are planning so let's see if you can do it...cause I am coming to blow it up!
---my hope would be to re-instill the pride of "I'm a pro. and the top of profession, and I'll show you that by my play!"
I've heard a lot of people say that the Game part of the ProBowl has gotten so lame that they wish they would go back to the old skills competitions from a few decades ago. I think what they are saying is the competition is lacking...so how about trying to isolate parts of the game (as suggested in 1 and 2 above) such that the compressing of the game down to smaller essential would then shine the spot light on it such that the participants could not sluff it off without it being glaring. If the crowd was to be incited to really cheer for their players I think NFL players pride would almost force them to step up their game to match the guy on the other side of the ball otherwise I look like a fool by letting him show me up. -Or at least that is the hope...to put pride back in the players and let that then start to show up again in their effort and play. Give them something to brag about (like trophies, rings, shirts that detail the event do for us normal Joe's so we can brag about it and hold it over our friend's heads for later).
Incentive- Winner Takes ALL, loser goes home with no money.
Protect the Player- NFL takes out a Health Policy on Every Participant so at least if there is an injury the player is compensated.
Last Idea- just in fairness any player whose salary is under (NFL sets a low bar standard) a certain limit gets compensated so it is not a burden that his funds can't handle (and if his team wins the "winner takes all purse" then it makes it really worth it).
I want to see the competition return to the field of play and not need to be taken to a fabricated situation like only the qb's throwing footballs at tires with no defenders around, or guys lining up for sprints, although the obstacle course was always fun....still the point is our favorite Pro players and us the fan base being told we are going to see Pros play a Bowl game, as in the Best of the Best going Head to Head...and then it is allowed to be a joke instead of a competition.
So what thoughts would you offer, and or what drivers do you feel concerning the ProBowl (because maybe your thoughts will prompt someone else to an idea about designing events or how things are done, etc.)?
Word Up and let's hear your best ideas and thoughts...
Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.