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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Pro Bowl Idea

    The Commissioner was not happy to say the least with the Pro Bowl. After agreeing that it was a joke I offered this suggestion, why not go back to the old College All-Star Game. The college players all go to All-Star games to impress NFL scouts, why not let them play the NFL's best in Hawaii. The college players could get an early payday and the NFL stars would be forced to bring their A-game or get their butt handed to them. It would be 100 times more interesting than that brother-in-law game we just watched. What do you think?

    Comments 59 Comments
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Hey, I'm down. Quite frankly, I was pretty tweaked that I had to suffer through an entire half of Cam Newton while Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were kicking it on the sidelines. I want to see stars, not alternates. But I digress. Watching LeSean McCoy literally walk out of the backfield to take the handoff was quite despicable. If i were a fan who payed to attend that event, I'd be asking for a refund.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Hey, sounds good to me. It's certainly better than the alternative. The problem would occur when the college stars take it too seriously, then the NFL stars don't want to be embarrassed, then someone gets hurt when a college kid is trying to make a name for himself. Then again, why am I complaining? The drama for a game like that could be fantastic.

      Of course, they could always forego the pro bowl altogether and allow the Super Bowl prep week to officially kick off with a battle between the worst 2 teams in the league for the #1 pick.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Nope.

      For one reason.

      Why should a player risk a serious injury for the sake of a meaningless exhibition game?

      It's crazy. Any suggestion that the players were wrong for sleepwalking in Hawaii strikes me as unreasonable.

      If the commish is unhappy, let him go out and tear a knee ligament. Actually, since he makes his living with his brain, how about a nasty, function-impairing concussion?

      That would make him think twice about participating. I'm totally against forcing players to risk their biggest asset -- their bodies -- for no purpose.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Yeah, I think Trumpet nailed it. The college guys would be actually trying and BAM! a top guy goes down and the outcry begins. Since the players take it as a joke, the NFL should just make it as light as possible. Have a skills competition for QBs like the old QB challenges. Have a fastest man competition. Have a benchpress contest, a high jump, an obstacle course, even a flag football game. No sense in having a game nobody wants to play.
    1. LongSufferingBucsFan's Avatar
      That game was an insult to us fans. We didn't watch it for very long. Maybe the Pro Bowl has run it's course. If the guys chosen to go don't make some kind of effort, then the fans will tune out.

      It would be interesting to see the college players go up against the NFL guys, but I don't think this is the venue for it. I think there's too much risk of the college guys getting hurt and risking their chances at the combine. I think that a scrimmage-type of game with the college vs. NFL players would be interesting. Something to showcase the college players, but lessen the risk of injury. I guess that sounds wimpy, but I'd hate to see one of the college players get seriously injured right before their career takes off.

      I don't know what the answer is with the Pro Bowl, but I find that we are less interested in it with each passing year. It was truly a disgrace this time.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      The problem is simple. At the NFL level, a single football game has a 50-50 chance of someone getting significant damage or worse.

      You just can't play real NFL football without damage. Therefore an exhibition game cant be real.

      You can't play it with 1 NFL side, or both.

      Nope. Football is just too risky for any reason other than the games really counting.

      If player's contracts won't let them ski or ride a motorcycle as a hobby, you SURE don't want them playing football.

      Sorry Cris. You can't go back.

      And a 1 team ProBowl would have half as many selected.

      How about an AFC vs NFC Dancing with the Stars competition?
    1. russrpm's Avatar
      I doubt that the college players' agents would let them play before they actually have a contract, at least not the ones everyone would want to see.
      Really, if the game is going to get softer every year, I say go ahead and make it a flag game. You could even have the players rotate position. Who wouldn't want to see Jared Allen as QB, or Carl Nicks as running back. You could even have a contest to allow a few fans to play a series with their heroes. Fun for everyone!!
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      I like that idea.

      The Pro Bowl needs to have NFL players showing that they care while they play it. College Players need to prove they can come into the NFL. I think that idea will successfully Joint Venture the two into a winning combination to show skills on both sides. There has to be respectability in the game & losing to College Students would be embarrassing.

      Add this idea & bring back the Skills Competition & I see improvement.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      I don't think the college vs pros game would work. Top college qbs aren't allowed to throw at the combine, much less playing against the BEST pro players. No way the agents of the top players would say ok to this alternate farce.

      The top lt going against ware or Harrison? The top wr going against revis? No agent allows his top third of the draft client to participate. It devalues the potential product at an exponential rate. It creates doubt for no good reason. Sure it might make a few of the truly special ones more money, but we all know those guys are crazy few and far between.

      Make it a red carpet affair like the awards show. Have a skills competition. Hell have the pro bowlers be dog handlers for the Westminster dog show finals.

      That would be far more entertaining, seeing Harrison or ngata in a sport coat and slacks jogging a tea cup poodle or yorkie around a packed arena!! As funny as seeing them "play jump rope" at the line, as gobig said. Matter of fact gobig may have been onto something. A double dutch competition amongst the big uglies with the skill guys swinging the ropes would be damn entertaining!!!
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Nope, bad idea. NFL players have become bigger and stronger, which have increased the danger of injuries. Part of the reason why the Pro Bowl is a joke is that the players don't want to hurt themselves during a meaningless game, especially since their contracts are not guaranteed.

      I say just get rid of the whole pro bowl and honor the best players however you want. If you want to have a skills competition, I guess that would be okay. But frankly I don't think it works as well in the NFL as it does in basketball or baseball and those skills competitions have run their course too.

      Maybe if the NFL wanted to use the week before the superbowl to do a college all-star game that weekend and spotlight that and highlight it, that might be better. But I dunno.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      Top college qbs aren't allowed to throw at the combine
      That is an EXCELLENT point.
    1. walzav31's Avatar
      That would be the best idea ever! Except would the college guys want to risk serious injury to play in it? That would be the highest rated game other than the SB. Tell the commish Cris. I love it!
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Nope.

      For one reason.

      Why should a player risk a serious injury for the sake of a meaningless exhibition game?

      It's crazy. Any suggestion that the players were wrong for sleepwalking in Hawaii strikes me as unreasonable.

      If the commish is unhappy, let him go out and tear a knee ligament. Actually, since he makes his living with his brain, how about a nasty, function-impairing concussion?

      That would make him think twice about participating. I'm totally against forcing players to risk their biggest asset -- their bodies -- for no purpose.

      exactly. They aren't established vets who have already gotten their payday in one way or another. Can't risk injuries of college kids who aren't even in the league yet, going up against players stronger and more experienced than them.


      I still say the criticism of the Pro Bowl is overblown. It is what it is. People are only criticizing it because they have too high expectations for it. Was the effort sketchy at times in this years game? Sure, but it was still entertaining, got good ratings, and provided a couple spectacular plays. What else are you expecting from a game that doesn't count for anything?

      If you want to change it up, make guys change positions for the game. QB's as WR's, WR's as QB's, DT's as LB's, etc.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Great idea. I was supposed to play in one vs. the Miami Dolphins in 1974 but it was cancelled because of a strike. We had a couple of workouts and the college kids were pumped up to play the World Champion Dolphins. Injuries are a huge concern like has been discussed. I remember Pat McInally broke his leg in the game the following season. Instead of the Pro Bowl, make it a passing camp....7 on 7 no line play. That is basically what the last one was anyway.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Nope.

      For one reason.

      Why should a player risk a serious injury for the sake of a meaningless exhibition game?

      It's crazy. Any suggestion that the players were wrong for sleepwalking in Hawaii strikes me as unreasonable.

      If the commish is unhappy, let him go out and tear a knee ligament. Actually, since he makes his living with his brain, how about a nasty, function-impairing concussion?

      That would make him think twice about participating. I'm totally against forcing players to risk their biggest asset -- their bodies -- for no purpose.
      You ever watch the Senior Bowl. They are playing their tails off. The Pro Bowl used to be like that too. Nobody going nuts, but we were playing to win. The college guys are playing in All-Star games anyway.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Cris Collinsworth View Post
      You ever watch the Senior Bowl....The college guys are playing in All-Star games anyway.
      You are right. How could I have forgotten that great matchup between Andrew Luck and RGIII? My bad.
    1. Ogiers's Avatar
      In baseball, home field goes to the All-Star game winner. What if the conference winning the game got to host the following year's Superbowl? Logistics aside, don't you think the owners would have their best players show up and play hard?
    1. Polishguy00's Avatar
      I just think money involved with the best college players won't let this happen. Even though money is less now for the top picks, there is a reason they don't throw at the combine, insure their arms in college, etc. Sadly, the risk/reward is not there for the top guys. Without the top 15 guys or so, I think the game would not be very entertaining.

      Just once (Because it probably would only happen one time), I would love to see this: The BCS National Champion faces the the team with the #1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

      Hey, it gives us a reason to watch the Colts! Colts-Crimson Tide at Jerry's World! Be There! Played the week after the combine.

      I went on about this for way too long during my last podcast, but I think the only real solutions is nothing or a real skills challenge played during the Sunday slot, not the middle of the day Saturday slots it used to be on.
    1. Regolator's Avatar
      I like the idea, but for college kids that haven't been drafted yet or received that first payday, there's little reason to risk an injury. To fix this thing, I think the pay disparity between losing and winning should be much greater than it stands now, for starters. Maybe change the payouts to 100K for the winners and 15K for the losers. These guys are paying for the status and cash anyway. Why not add more bonuses for good play? Besides the overall MVP, how about an offensive, special teams, and a defensive MVP? The league has the money and means to do this. Make more incentives for the guys to play hard, and most will.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Ogiers View Post
      In baseball, home field goes to the All-Star game winner. What if the conference winning the game got to host the following year's Superbowl? Logistics aside, don't you think the owners would have their best players show up and play hard?
      The worst thing that ever happened to the MLB All Star game was trying to make it count for something. It's an exhibition.

      Anyone here remember Robert Edwards? Edwards was a 1st round pick of the Patriots in 1998. He rushed for over 1100 yards his rookie season and was on his way to becoming one of the top backs in the league. Following the season, the NFL held a rookie flag football game in Hawaii. He ripped up his knee to the point where it was nearly amputated, and was told he may never walk again. Thankfully he is able to walk, but it took him until 2002 to get back into the NFL as a 3rd down back with Miami. He was then released following that season, and played a few years in the CFL.

      There's a reason the MLB all-star game has always worked. It's the sport with the least risk of injury, so the players are able to allow the game to continue to resemble baseball. In basketball, street ball takes the place of defense, and it maintains some entertainment value, although that entertainment dwindles by the year. With hockey and football, those two sports are so physical, it is impossible to keep those games in their current form. Hockey's done a better job at meshing the actual game into a defacto skills competition. Football doesn't necessarily lend itself to that, especially if defenders are standing around. It's the toughest sport to "fake" defense. So if the NFL wants an all-star game, fine, but the format doesn't lend itself to fielding a quality product. Nor should it.