It was announced yesterday that Orlando, Florida won the bid to become the Pro Bowl host city in 2017. The game has bounced around the last half-decade after 30 straight seasons in Honolulu, Hawaii. The location change makes it more likely for players and fans to travel to watch and participate in the weekend festivities. This will not make the game more enjoyable, but it will help the NFL gain even more popularity in cities that don’t have a representative team in the league, like Orlando.
This is not the move that is going to save the NFL Pro Bowl. The game has lost some of its star power, because players are not as willing to go out and play an extra game, in which, they could get injured. These players have too much on the line to participate in these “pick-up” style games. We haven’t seen a high level of competition in the Pro Bowl since the days of Sean Taylor (RIP).
There is an idea I have that may help the NFL. The skills competitions across the leagues are typically the most viewed events, and the NFL hasn’t had these competitions in some time. These challenges were held every year until 2007, but they were never broadcast live on television.
Events such as the 40-yard dash, bench press, furthest throw, hardest throw, and longest kick would all be extremely exciting to watch. You could ever bring back some of the flag football games with legends. There is a huge opportunity for the NFL to make the Pro Bowl weekend great again, while making some money for themselves. Sell tickets to the event, and keep the sponsorship on the side-lines, televisions, and maybe even the jerseys.
The fans have spoken for years about this, and nobody wants to watch these glorified “pick-up” games any longer. Bring back the skills competitions, broadcast them live, and watch the money and fan happiness go through the roof.
I just fixed the NFL.
Take a look back at one of the last skills competitions that was filmed.