Five Thoughts on the Pro Bowl

By: Thomas Capo
Posted: February 1, 2018

1. The Pro Bowl isn’t a real football game. It never has been, and it never will be.

In a game completely devoid of defense, aside from some interceptions on lame duck passes, these all- stars half-assed their way to a perfectly normal football score. If we’re going to see the best athletes in the game play two hand touch, I want to see some fireworks. Let’s run up the score. Let’s see an offense composed exclusively of flea-flickers and reverses. Let’s see some fake punts…on first down. Just kidding, but you get the idea. I know they don’t want these guys hitting each other full gas, so let’s be creative. The dodgeball is a good start. Maybe give bonus points for elaborate, creative end-zone celebrations? Touchdowns are worth ten points if the passes are caught one handed? I’ve got dozens of these.

2. The most exciting play of the game, even in the Pro Bowl, was taken back by the zebras.

We just can’t have any fun, anymore, can we? Watching Tyreek Hill fumble/muff that punt was like watching Star Wars for the one-hundredth time. The outcome was absolutely inevitable. You knew he was going to lose that ball, and you knew that if he did, it was going to wind up in the end zone. But nooooo, it wasn’t a fumble, it was a muffed punt, and the rules say that you can’t advance a muffed punt. Blah. Blah. Blah. Thanks refs.

3. By default, the best players from the best teams are always missing.

How else do you explain Alex Smith being the game’s top passer? Before you ask, no, it’s not just since 2009, when the game was moved to the week before the Super Bowl, instead of after it. Top players have always smiled and acknowledged the honor before bowing out. Take for example Tom Brady. He’s been selected for thirteen Pro Bowls in his career (I know, seems like not enough, right) Want to know how many times he’s suited up for the Clash of the Conferences? Two. Yeah. The greatest quarterback of all time can’t be bothered. I can’t really blame him either. Brady probably doesn’t like that the game isn’t serious enough. He very likely hates my first suggestions…he’ll hate this one, too.

4. Here’s another idea. No punts. Sorry punters.

I know you guys deserve a nod, and you want to play, but omitting the game’s snooze button would likely make the game far more fun to watch. Imagine offenses not concerned with field position, but advancement at all costs. The entire game would take on an air of desperation like a fourth-quarter comeback. Any way you cut it, the game would be more exciting. Left-footed New England punters or not.

5. Why? Why in the name of god’s green earth are we playing a Pro Bowl in the rain?

Getting people to take the Pro Bowl seriously is hard enough. Did you see the stands? Not exactly a sell-out. I can’t imagine sitting around in the middle of the winter, getting soaked to watch inconsequential football. We have the technology and the geography to avoid nonsense like that. Honestly, though, this was probably the most fun Pro Bowl I’ve ever seen, with the AFC roaring back from a seventeen-point halftime deficit to win. It probably won’t get much better than that, unless the commissioner jumps on a few of these ideas…seriously, Roger, no more punts.

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Tom Capo


Tom Capo writes about sports, parenting, food, wine and travel; but seldom all at once. He’s currently working on his first novel and collection of shorter fiction. He lives in the Bay Area with all of his girls; wife Allison, daughter Liliana and dog Artemis.



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