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Published on 02/06/2012 at Mon Feb 06 08:00.
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  • areferee

    If the Pro Bowl is to survive as a viable NFL product, it must be revamped in such a way as to have total fan interest and full competitive involvement of all of the selected players.

    To achieve that level, the first, most obvious change that must take place is to include ALL of the eligible all stars.  That means it must go back to its post-Super Bowl date.  Without the participation of the all stars on the Super Bowl entrants, the interest has immediately been reduced.  Playing the game after the Super Bowl is a MUST!

    Additionally, the Pro Bowl must be top-loaded with sufficient incentive to the players to assure the highest level of play.  Here are my suggestions to achieve that top play.  Any 2-3 (or ALL) would assure top performance:

         1.  Although it has been done before, it must be “Winner-take-all”.  A $5 million pool to be divided among the players on the WINNING team.  Losing team gets Maggie’s Drawers!  Nothing.

         2.  Just like the Super Bowl,only the winners receive a Pro Bowl ring commemorating the victory and their status.

         3.  The winning conference (all teams) are the home team for all inter-conference match ups the following season.

         4.  The LOSING conference, (all teams and their coaches), must report one week earlier to training camp.  (This would have to become an amendment to the CBA)

         5.  The winning conference, (all teams), would win one additional compensatory draft selection in the upcoming college draft.

    and finally:

         6.  All members of the losing conference team would be ineligible for the following year’s Pro Bowl.

    How’s that for “loaded with incentive”?  Incentive for each player and a stigma upon the losing team.  Too harsh?  I believe harsh is the only way to save the game from obscurity.

    Your thoughts?

  • Monty

    Number 3 is really interesting. Really interesting. Similar to what the MLB does with its All Star game while not disrupting the Super Bowl. 5 is interesting too, although I’m not sure the players would find personal investment in that.

    The first 2 are kind of tangential to what currently takes place — a $25k bonus for every player on the winning team, as part of the new CBA.

    4 and 6 won’t ever happen (for one thing, on #4, coaches would love it!).

    Love the thinking-outside-the-box though ref.