Pro Bowl voting was finalized yesterday, and with 7 players going the Chiefs have a healthy amount going. You have your usuals, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones, but also first timers such as Tommy Townsend and Joe Thuney. Overall, in respect to Pro Bowlers at least, this team was quite successful, but that's just it. Does it matter anymore? It looks good for career accolades yes, but are players selected on their merit. or rather by their popularity? Not only that, but does the game need to even be played in the first place?
Let's start with the game itself, the Pro Bowl has turned into the "Pro Bowl Games" and will now entail skill competitions, dodgeball, and a 7 on 7-esque flag football game. A far cry from the days of Sean Taylor taking Brian Moorman's head off in Honolulu, Hawaii. Shoot, it's not even in Hawaii anymore, it's in Orlando, Florida at Camping World Stadium. My guess is Disney had something to do with that, but what do I know. I'm not necessarily saying that moving toward less high contact in what's supposed to be a sort of end of the year celebration of individual accomplishment, but the rest of the leagues DO in fact play an All-Star game that is an actual game. Football is a high contact sport with lots of aggressive movement and potential for injury, but at the same time, so is hockey. You don't see the NHL though moving towards a low contact option, and they still have skills competitions. It's part of why a lot of people have grown apathetic toward the Pro Bowl, that and what I am about to mention next, which I feel like is a bigger reason than turning the Pro Bowl into ESPN the Ocho.
This reason, dear readers, is the way the players are selected. Back in the day, being selected to the Pro Bowl meant something. The fan vote was there, but it didn't matter as much. What mattered more was the way you impacted the game that year and your merit. It has slowly transitioned over the past few years to having the fan vote matter a lot more, to the point of where it's a popularity contest. It's how players that really have not done anything of note this year (but maybe in years past) got onto these teams. Guys like Quentin Nelson, Jaire Alexander, ORLANDO BROWN JR. (The man is tied for most pressures allowed in the league for God's sake) and Quandre Diggs. All guys voted onto the team for their popularity and are far away from why they originally got popular in the first place. Meanwhile, you're snubbing guys like Justin Fields, Tua Tagavailoa, Christian McCaffrey, TREY SMITH, NICK BOLTON(!!!), and Tyler Lockett. Guys that have had stellar years are off these rosters, and frankly speaking it discredits the Pro Bowl in doing so. The fan vote has taken too much power, and it's become more of a parody than an actual "All-Star" atmosphere. It's causing people to stop watching and is watering down the honor of being a Pro Bowler.
However, what do you all think? Do you think the way the game is played needs to change? The way players are selected? Should the Pro Bowl be eliminated altogether? Let me know in the comments below and on social media, or if you have anything to add or further questions or comments. Polls will be out on social media.
Burn Notice: 10/10 The polar opposite of whatever this Antarctic day is.