The NFL is desperate to get people to tune into the Pro Bowl. So desperate that they're making some really crazy changes to the Pro Bowl game next season. Rather than have the AFC play against the NFC, as per tradition, the NFL is going to scrap the current format of the game and repurpose it as a "fantasy-like" game.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as team captains for the Pro Bowl, and they will be in charge of picking the NFL players that they want on their team through a Pro Bowl Draft. Those players will then play on teams helmed by Rice and Sanders in place of the Pro Bowl. Each roster will consist of 43 players per team, and the game will be played on January 26, 2014 in Hawaii, one week before the Super Bowl.
We don't see this working. Even though it will spice things up a little bit, the Pro Bowl is still going to essentially feature two teams full of guys playing at half speed in exchange for a Pro Bowl check. It's not going to improve the game at all. And we give it a year or two before the NFL scraps this format and finally decides to pull the plug on the game altogether. We appreciate the effort. But the new Pro Bowl sounds just as lame as the old one.
[via Adam Schefter]