In today's 24 hour news cycle, yesterday's game or big trade is just crusty rancid salmon patty stuck at the bottom of the garbage disposal. People have a hard time savoring the moment and are constantly looking for what's next. For example, as soon as the Texans lost to the Pats 2 1/2 weeks ago there were already articles off season previews and mock drafts being written.This was despite the fact that the AFC/NFC championships were still a week away and the season has yet to shut its doors (That's why are Texans season review will be out next week). Everyone needs to look ahead and plan goals for the future, but people need to enjoy the game even if your team is still out of it (It never gets old hating the Pats). As a full time college student who works 30 hours a week it is impossible for me to keep up with the vicious, up to date, constantly updated "It's my money and I want it now" sports news cycle. Also even if I could I would not be a part of it. I pride myself on delivering a gluttonous, 5 course meal of in depth analysis and break downs, instead of delivering a Bleacher Report slideshow style bag of Lays article that takes 15 minuets to write. These content is king websites deliver short shallow information that can be quickly consumed, but dull the mind of actually learning anything valuable about the games we love. Just because we can now consume a lot of information does not mean a good thing if the information is a Cobb Salad from Applebee's with rats in it.
The 2013 Pro Bowl was on Sunday and already it has been discarded into the depths of time like a Sega Saturn spinning Virtua Fighter for eternity. Despite it being out of everyone's minds I am still hesitant to be done with it. Every year the problem with the Pro Bowl is the same, it's not real football. Unlike basketball and baseball the tenacity and ferocity needed to play the game of football is out of the question to bring to a game like this (unless you are Sean Taylor). The inherent flaw is that football is a game played with emotion and the Pro Bowl strips the game of football from it. No one is out there trying to stop a RB from making a 3rd and 1, every play is and should be a pass and the reasoning to rush the QB is non existent. It is nothing more than an exhibition game for the fans to enjoy watching their favorite players put on the pads for the last time until September and make sure no one suffers a cataclysmic injury. With that being said the Pro Bowl is still an enjoyable event if you take it for what it is. It's like going to see the newest Fast and Furious movie. You know there are going to be fast cars, explosions, women who are not going to wear very much clothing, and a incoherent plot, but it is still going to be a good time if you are expecting that and not a Kathryn Bigelow Academy Award Winner. So before the media calls for the end of a NFL all-star game and the tar and featherings occur, think about what the game actually is and enjoy it for that.
Some quick observations:
-JJ Watt can't stop, won't stop, would not even consider to stop even if it was an option (which isn't). I have never yet to see a player with the high motor that he has. Even in the Pro-Bowl he played hard and kept the V-8 running. He is they type of player with all the talent in the world like most NFL players, but what separates him is the amount of energy he brings to every snap. He's the defensive player of the year because of a combination of his strength, speed, and energy. If Albert Haynesworth ever learned this he would not be playing guitar hero right now, but actually in the NFL as a vital piece of the Redskins defense. JJ Watt is the embodiment of "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
-One other note on JJ Watt. It was awesome, when they lined him up at receiver, but it seems he has already forgot how to play TE and how to catch a football. If his hands were a little bit better some of the 24 (2 in post season) passes deflected would have turned into picks and he would have had more moments like this.
-Matt Schuab still struggles to throw the deep ball. In the second quarter Schuab intended to throw a deep ball to Demaryius Thomas, only to underthrow him by 4 yards, have the ball tipped into the air and caught by a diving William Moore. It was just like the underthrow to James Casey against the Colts in week 17 that changed the out course of the game (And flushed a #1 seed down the toilet). The tail half of the year saw the degradation of Schuab as a deep ball thrower as he slowly morphed into someone who could only throw 12 yard passes to Dre. This summer Schaub should have one thing on his mind, get his mojo back on the deep pass.
-It never gets old watching Eli Manning throw pick sixes
-The jerseys actually looked good this year, instead of looking like the past jerseys that resembled the vomit of a drunken four year old after drinking a cup of every different color of Kool-Aid.
-Like Watt, Duane Brown played hard as well, he even pancaked Julius Peppers during pass protection.
-Even in the Pro Bowl Arian Foster only runs up the middle on first down
-AJ Green is a year or two away from taking the best reciever in the AFC title belt from Andre Johnson.
-The last snap to Peyton from Jeff Saturday was a moment that hit every Colts fan right in the feels. Even though those two terrorized me during my teenage years it was still a sweet moment.
-Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth laid back, I'm in Hawai choice of wardrobe was hilariously awful.
-That was an awesome no look onside kick by the greatest modern era Cleveland Brown, Phil Dawson.
-It's illogical to look too much into the Pro Bowl, but what I enjoyed the most about the way the Texans played in the Pro Bowl was that they played like they legitimately cared and actually competed. Schuab was angry on passes he missed, Brown blocked hard, and Watt bloodied his finger. It's awesome to have a group guys that care about bringing a title home to Texas as much as the fans want one.
Now even though there was some good things about the Pro-Bowl it does need some changes. Not MLB like changes where the winner of the Pro Bowl automatically wins the coin toss in the Super Bowl or whoever wins gets home field advantage in the playoffs sort of changes. But changes that add more fun to the event for both the fan and the player. They should model the weekend after the NBA's and NHL's All Star game.
Friday- They should have some type of flag football game that the legends of the past to play in. Who wouldn't love to see Kurt Warner dropping bombs to Isaac Bruce down the sideline again or Neon Deion Sanders picking off Brett Favre and taking it back to the end zone. Unlike the NBA no celebrities should be allowed, no one wants to watch Beiber throw six yard slants to Chris Brown.
Saturday- Will be a skills competition just like what the NHL and NBA have.
Some events would include:
-A tug of war tourney of four teams- AFC O-line, AFC D-line, NFC O-line, NFC D-line in some type of round robin bracket where they two top teams face each other in the finals.
-A QB wide receiver competition where the QB completes passes to a receiver of his, but there is a catch. The quarterback is blind folded and the series of routes will be predetermined. Whoever completes the most wins.It would really show they sixth sense that QBs and their number one guy have in common. Everyone loves those throws where the QB knows exactly where his guy is going to be and throws it to him before he is even out of his break.
-The kickers and punters could play horse where they take turns coming up with ways to put the ball between the pylons. You know kickers have some crazy stuff up their sleeve that they come up with during the dead times of practice when they are not needed. It would be incredible to see some rugby style field goals from the sideline, and punters pinning the ball inside the 5 yard line while kicking ti backwards.
-Also if they can work anything into it from this game.
Sunday- The actual game would be played. Also players like Rodgers and Brady should be forced into playing in the game even if they are bitter about losing in the post season.
The main point is the Pro Bowl can be a must see event and give the fans one last glimpse at their favorite players before they climb into their hyperbolic time chambers to prepare for the next season. It's just going to take some creativity from the No Fun League to make it happen. Something that they lack which can be seen how they have handled the lockout, helmet to helmet hits, pensions for former players, and celebrations. If the NFL just think somewhat out of the box the most popular league in American professional sports could actually make a lackluster event spectacular.