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NFL Pro Bowl: Significant Change To Format Next Year?


When it comes to All-Star games, the contests for most of the major American sports are kind of a joke. Of the four major sports, the only one that has an All-Star game that even remotely resembles an actual game is Major League Baseball, largely because. . .well, it's hard for a baseball game to be "defense optional" like the games for football, basketball, and hockey are every year.

We have a tendency to make fun of the NFL Pro Bowl, as do most writers, because it just isn't that exciting. A lot of the players that are selected back out of the contest, whether it's because of injuries or "injuries," and there are a lot of limitations on the defense. However, according to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, the NFL might be doing something to attempt to spice things up, starting with next year's contest in Honolulu.

League officials had lengthy talks this week at the league headquarters in New York putting together more details for the Pro Bowl with things continuing to point to a format where selected players are drafted on teams, very likely on a primetime, televised selection show.

The NFLPA proposal, in which team captains and/or other parties pick players for two Pro Bowl teams once fan voting/team selection is complete, was presented to the owners two weeks ago at the league meeting and continues to generate positive momentum, sources said. There are no dissenting voices and league officials met this week to add to the skeleton they have in place for the format change, though more work must be done.

Hey, more reasons to get the NFL on prime-time television. Doesn't sound like a terrible idea to me.

This is the format the NHL has gone to for their All-Star game. The participating players vote on who the "Captains" will be, and then it basically proceeds like a pick-up game, with each captain picking players until their roster is filled out.

I actually think this is a pretty great idea. I mean, it's still going to be the Pro Bowl and all, but it adds a little something to the festivities, at least.