NFL Pro Bowl

January 28, 2013

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The Pro Bowl is the all star game for professional football. This year, the National Football Conference won in pretty convincing fashion. This is interesting since they were missing more of their selected players than the American Football Conference. This year they are back in Hawaii rather than in the Super Bowl venue, but again this year, the game is between the championship games and the Super Bowl. The commissioner made a not so veiled threat the if the game was not played up to NFL standards, the game would be deleted from the schedule. This was due to the lack luster effort the last two years (55-41 and 59-41).

The change in location in 2010 (2009 season) to the Super Bowl venue and the move to before the Super Bowl were both moves by the commissioner to make it a better game. Let’s face it, the game has suffered from both of these moves. The game is supposed to be a reward for players who are recognized for their performance and it is a reward for fans to see their players one last time this season. By moving the venue, the reward for the players was reduced. By moving the date, the reward for the fans has been removed.

Here are the negatives; players from the Super Bowl teams are not there. Fans of the non-Super Bowl teams really have nothing left after this week end. Sure, true football fans will watch the Super Bowl, along with many people who only tune in for the final game, but there is really nothing for most of the fans.

The other change that the commissioner made to the Pro Bowl was to try to give it meaning. The conference that wins is considered the home team in the Super Bowl the next year. This does not actually mean much, but it does define who chooses what uniforms they wear (in general home is dark and away is light) and who calls the coin toss. There is no advantage statistically for home team or coin toss since it is played on a neutral field. This is still the most useful change the commissioner made and the only one I don’t think should be reversed.

I do not know what criteria the commissioner will use to determine the continuance of the Pro Bowl in the future. I would like to think that he realizes just how important this game is to players and fans, even if it is not the hard fought battle of a regular season game. Congratulations to all of the players selected, especially those who were enjoying their first times. Here is hoping that we get to see this celebration for years to come.

Spare Time Fun

January 30, 2012

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Now that I am officially tired of the political ads, reports, coverage and analysis, I have to find something to do with my spare time.  If you have read some of my previous posts, some of what I am going to right is not necessarily new.  Actually, none of it is new, but it may be presented in a new light.

The NFL Pro Bowl

My annual rant on the NFL Pro Bowl.  It is supposed to be a show case of the best players in the NFL.  Since the league has move the Pro Bowl to the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, we do not actually get that show case.  The selected players from the two Super Bowl teams opt out of the Pro Bowl for obvious reasons (practicing for the Super Bowl, avoiding possible injury, losing focus, etc).  Although I am not a New England Patriots or New York Giants fan, I would like to see all of the best players, not just the ones who have nothing else to do.  I will give credit to the league for moving the game back to Hawaii.  This is supposed to be a reward for greatness.  Having the game in the Super Bowl city in the week leading up to the Super Bowl is almost rubbing in the fact that these players are not playing in the really big game.

Productive Activities

As I have written before, I have taken up crochet again.  It has been a productive year already.  I have finished two single bed blankets, one for each of my college age children, and a shawl (see photo) that I will be donating to a local elderly care center (this is part of a church group activity where I am younger than all of the other members by at least 20 years).  I am currently working on another blanket, this one for my niece.  I have found that this hobby is cheaper than most of my other entertainment options such as going to movies and it results in something others can use.

Motion Pictures

Since I mentioned movies as entertainment, I have to comment that “The Iron Lady” is a great movie.  It is not the typical Hollywood production, so some people do not like it.  The story is compelling even if you did not live through the events as I have.  The acting is also very good.  I plan on going to see both “Red Tails” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”.


You would think that with my refocus on more productive use of my time, that I would be more productive in my writing attempts.  Sadly that is not the case.  My writing has languished since before Christmas, except the short story that I published last week.  I certainly hope that the rest of you are progressing in your writing.


The NFL Pro Bowl

January 31, 2011

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This is a list of the things I like and do not like about the NFL Pro-Bowl.

I do not like that it is the week before the Super Bowl. We already have reduced participation due to some of the higher paid players concern about injury, now we have the Super Bowl participants opting out.

I like that the game is in Hawaii again. I thought that it was actually rather cruel last year when the players went to the Super Bowl City. The celebration of their skills that earned them spots on the Pro-Bowl roster was overwhelmed by Super Bowl questions, including “how do you feel about not being in the Super Bowl?” This is supposed to be a reward for being the best players in the league. Having the game in Hawaii lets these players celebrate with their families and friends.

I do not like that the only impact of the game is deciding which team is the “home” team in the Super Bowl next year. I would like it to determine where the Super Bowl is played. Rather than “awarding” the Super Bowl to a city, almost always in a warm climate or dome, let the Pro-Bowl determine what stadium the Super Bowl is played in. The conference champion of the winning side of the Pro-Bowl should host the Super Bowl. Then we could have some real games, maybe in Chicago or New England. Yeah I have heard all the arguments against cold weather venues, are we playing football here or tennis?

I do like that the coaches actually get almost every player some face time and the announcers have all the statistical sheets to brag about these guys. Some of them come from pretty bad teams and do not get the recognition that they should.

I do not like that the players don’t even try on some plays. I know that this is an exhibition game and no one wants to get hurt, so yes hold up on some of the hits once you have someone stopped. The thing I object to is that for field goals and extra points, everyone just stands up and waits for the kicker to kick the ball.

I do like the kick off plays. These are the only plays that everyone seems to be having fun. No one is hitting too hard and everyone is running around showing how much fun they are having.

My preference, if the commissioner reads this post, is to return to the old format. Play the game in Hawaii the week after the Super Bowl. The only thing I would suggest as an adder would be to have the all star cheer leaders there as well. And for Fox Sports, more focus on the beautiful people in the stands.