The Pro Bowl
by Kevin Monroe

Of all the professional all star games, the Pro Bowl is the least watched and least anticipated game.  I believe the main reason for the lack enthusiasm comes from the placement of the game.  The NBA all star game, the NHL hockey game and major league baseball all have their all star games mid season.  With the season only half way through there is usually plenty of hype surrounding the game.  Everyone wants to see their favorite player compete against the league’s best mid-year when it really matters.  For some reason, the Pro Bowl isn’t structured in this manner; it is scheduled for the Sunday after the Super Bowl. 


The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year and the most watched.  The event is the ultimate culmination of a four-month season, and when it’s over, football is over.  The Pro Bowl is really just an afterthought.  A couple years back the major league baseball game began to lose its luster, and the league stepped in and made some major changes.  The biggest of those changes was giving the winning league home field advantage in the World Series.  I don’t like the idea of awarding home field advantage, and I wouldn’t want the NFL to institute that, but they should do something to make the Pro Bowl a more meaningful game.   


This year’s game had many of the usual stars from both the AFC and the NFC.  Some of the AFC’s veterans were Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Jonathan Ogden, Willie Roaf, Zach Thomas, and Champ Bailey.  The NFC’s veterans were Tory Holt, Shaun Alexander, Jonathan Ogden, Julius Peppers, Derrick Brooks and Roy Williams.  Those vets were joined by the future of the league in youngsters like, Lofa Tatupu, DeAngelo Hall,  and Nathan Vasher from the NFC and Troy Palamalu, Tommie Harris and Bob Sanders from the AFC.


I enjoy watching the first half or so of the game each year, but I have to admit, I have never watched the game all the way to the end.  It doesn’t mean a lot and the players don’t really play like it means much.  The last problem I recognize is that the game is in Hawaii almost completely away from civilization.  I can see why the players and their families like it, but it takes the game away from the fans in the mainland of the U.S. that really support the game.  Maybe in the future they will think about rotating sites like the Super Bowl does.  The 2006 game on Sunday was more entertaining than most with six takeaways by the NFC, and they were victorious in the end with a 23-17 win over the AFC.

Kevin Monroe