Why was the Pro Bowl moved to Florida?

Pretty much the thread in the title line. It’s not like Florida is lacking for NFL games.

Starting this year the probowl is to be played the week before the Superbowl in the same stadium as the Superbowl. The idea is to fill a dead weekend in the schedule while helping to get the week-long party at the Superbowl venue kicked off.

They’ve recognized that fan interest in the Pro Bowl is pretty low, and so, they’re tinkering with it, to try to create more interest.

A side-effect that this change is going to have is that players who are voted into the Pro Bowl, who wind up going to the Super Bowl, won’t be playing in the Pro Bowl, since no team will risk a star player in an exhibition the week before the Super Bowl.

There’s been a lot of arguing about this, but I come squarely down on the side of “this is a very good idea.” The Pro Bowl has become a complete joke. Half the players don’t bother to show up, no one on the field even seems interested, and everyone’s playing at 3/4 speed in an attempt to avoid injury. Plus, any of these guys who are on teams that didn’t make the playoffs haven’t been on the field in a month, so they’re totally out of “game shape” and just want the vacation.

By moving it to the week before the Super Bowl, you set up a much more interesting dynamic. All the players are still in shape, more people will show up so they can hang out at the Super Bowl parties, and both sidelines will have players who are about to play in the Super Bowl, instead of one sideline having a bunch of depressed Super bowl losers (if they even bother to show up). If they want, they can have the entirety of both Super Bowl teams hanging out on the sidelines. Sure, they won’t be playing, but no one really cares about that anyway. When the Giants won the Super Bowl a couple years back, IIRC they only had 1 player actually in the Pro Bowl game. This way everyone gets to be a part of the party (if not the actual game).

I agree that it’s a good idea. Still, part of me will miss the Hawaii angle of the game. I know people who had standing trips to Hawaii around it every year and it was kinda nice to be reminded that Hawaii is part of America. Seeing the NFL players messing around on the beaches and competing in the silly QB challenges and whatnot in the week leading up to it was always good fun. If the Super Bowl were confined to Miami, San Diego, New Orleans and Phoenix it’d probably be a fine tradeoff, but having both the Super Bowl AND Pro Bowl tainted with being stuck in places like Jacksonville, Detroit and Indy kinda makes it a double whammy.

Not a snowball’s chance in hell will any of the two Super Bowl teams put a guy on the field for the Pro Bowl the previous week. Now, this isn’t really a loss considering the players that played in the Super Bowl usually sat out the Pro Bowl anyway, but they sure as hell aren’t now.

I don’t think it’ll improve any. Not only are the two Super Bowl teams not going to field anybody, but I seriously doubt either team in the Conference Championships are going to either. That probably means little if any players from the 4 best teams in the NFL are going to participate.

Then again nobody gave a damn about the game anyway, so couldn’t hurt.

Why even have it? The only all star team that anyone gives a rip about is MLB’s. It’s just the nature of the sport, you can take nine guys who have never played together and they can pretty much play like they always do. No complicated plays to memorize, no need to reduce contact since there isn’t that much anyway. Hockey has the worst AS game since nobody does any checking and the scores are too high. In football, you not only have less contact and less effort, the playcalling is going to be dull since they don’t have time to work on a lot of plays together. On top of that, the players from the best teams don’t show up. Let’s just call the whole thing off.

Perhaps, echoing what MLB does, the winning conference can get to receive the opening kickoff in the subsequent Super Bowl? :stuck_out_tongue:

Somehow I have a hard time imagining an Eagle player busting his butt in the Pro Bowl to give the Cowboys the opening kick in the Super Bowl.

The Pro Bowl will return to Honolulu for 2011 and 2012.
The Hawaiian Tourism Authority had to pay the NFL to return the Pro Bowl to Aloha Stadium. I believe they were paying before, too. The players certainly don’t like the idea of a mainland Pro Bowl. The Hawaiian vacation is as much the award as the honor of playing in the game.

I suspect that very little of it is about the game itself.

  1. It’s used as a major promotional opportunity by the NFL and its sponsors.

  2. It’s been used by Hawaii as a venue for promoting Hawaiian tourism (and, according to the article that garygnu linked to, it’s apparently a net money-maker for Hawaii, even after you figure in what they pay the NFL to bring it to Hawaii)

  3. All the other major US sports have an All-Star Game. It might feel a bit weird for the NFL to not have one (though, I agree, it’s not much of a game, and I think very few fans would miss it much).

If I were a pro, there is no way that I would participate. Several years back some guy destroyed his knee and was out for a year or two. This wasn’t even in the Pro Bowl. It was in a televised flag football game on the beach before the actual Pro Bowl.

The Pats’ Robert Edwards’ *career *was destroyed.

The game might be even more of a joke than it has been. At least most players selected were happy to get a free Hawaii vacation, after a few weeks to rest up after their seasons. There could be a lot more guys who just don’t want to do it under the new system.

Robert Edwards, then-rookie running back for the Patriots. The flag-football game was specifically for rookies (he wasn’t elected to the actual Pro Bowl). The injury was so severe that amputation was a possibility, and he was told that his career was over.

Edwards spent three years rehabbing his knee, and managed to return to the NFL, playing a year for the Dolphins, followed by several years in the CFL.

Perhaps I didn’t write that clearly, my bad. Of course the players from the Super Bowl teams won’t play in the Pro Bowl game, but hardly any of them play in the game anyway (claiming injury, exhaustion, whatever). The point is simply that they will actually show up - and not just the Pro Bowl players, but all the players from both teams. And this way, each sideline will be filled with honestly-happy-to-be-there Conference champions giving happy interviews about the upcoming game; instead of the current status quo of 2 or 3 Super Bowl winners getting congratulated on one side and nobody from the losing team even bothering to show up 'cause they don’t want to spend a weekend in Hawaii talking about how their dreams just got crushed.

It’s a bad idea but still better than the unlamented Playoff Bowl of the 1960s. Vince Lombardi hated it. Tom Landry drilled his Cowboys hard for their 1965 appearance and got whipped by a Colt team with running back Tom Matte at quarterback.

This is the reason I think it’s bad change. No one cares, and I don’t think there’s a way to change that. Better just to get the guys a nice vacation in Hawaii. Though I guess under that reasoning, we could just have a list from voting and give the guys a vacation without having the game…

Meh. I’d rather kickoff, play defense first, and take the ball to start the second half.

As for the Pro Bowl, I had not heard it was the week before the Super Bowl this year. Guess I wasn’t paying attention. Still doubt anybody is going to care about the game anyway.

Strongly agree that none of the players on the Super Bowl teams will be playing in the Pro Bowl. Besides the risk of injury, those players will be practicing with their teams for game that actually matters.

Many coaches agree, but I like the spirit of the idea.

For a ceremonial advantage, have winning the Probowl mean your conference wins the opening coin toss in the Superbowl, so you can choose to receive or kick/direction.

For a meaningful advantage, have winning the Probowl mean your conference wins both coin tosses, so you get the ball first in overtime.

I pretty much agree. Give the voted in players a trophy and airline tickets to Hawaii and call it a day. At least they can still use their ProBowl inductee status as a reason to demand more money in contract negotiations.