On Monday, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders announced on Twitter that he will be suiting up for the Pro Bowl this year and in doing so, one would assume that opposing team captain and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice will do the same.
Ladies and Gentlemen I am officially announcing "I WILL SUIT UP IN HAWAII" Please let @JerryRice know that a real captain leads by example!
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) January 13, 2014
So what does this mean? It means that the Pro Bowl will likely be void of any hard hitting and tackling once again, and in my opinion, it is yet another step in the wrong direction in trying to save the annual NFL All-Star game from extinction.
I’m old enough to remember when the Pro Bowl game actually featured real football, but those days are long gone for sure. Starting this year, the players will divided up via a fantasy-style draft with Sanders and Rice both making the selections. In other words, this won’t be the AFC versus the NFC.
Last year, television ratings for the Pro Bowl dipped slightly from the previous year as the NFC won the game 62-35. Did I watch? Yes, but only because you never know what some player might say or do during the game or sideline interviews that might be deemed blog post worthy. Will I watch this year? Sadly, yes. Will the average fan watch? We’ll see what the ratings say.
I somewhat understand why the hitting, tackling and blocking has gone by the wayside over the years as players don’t want risk suffering a serious injury. However, what’s taking place now in Hawaii is beyond laughable and adding Sanders and Rice to the action doesn’t help.
So what are your thoughts on this? Will you watch? Should they just do away with the Pro Bowl for good? If so, is there an alternative?