Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pride or Shame or Something

The NFL has announced that beginning in 2010, the Pro Bowl will be played in the same city as the Super Bowl (rather than Honolulu), and will be played one week before the Super Bowl (rather than one week after). Sports radio is already abuzz with discussion of this change, and for purposes of this post, so too is this precious, precious blog.

This change is sure to increase the number of no-shows to the game, beginning with those players who will be playing in the Super Bowl the week after, none of whom will be dumb enough to risk injury in a meaningless game. Or maybe some of them will be dumb enough, in which case it can only degrade the quality of the Super Bowl, which is already barely tolerable as a football spectacle given the advertising frenzy.

I say abolish the Pro Bowl altogether. I would rather see the NFL follow the NBA and recognize an "All NFL" first, second, and third team for each position, without asking the named players to gather on the same field, don hyperpatriotic uniforms, and go through game-like motions (the NBA has an all-star game, but the all-NBA teams are separate from the all-star teams). This would allow the best players to be recognized even if they are not able to play due to injury, jail, civil trials, paternity testing, etc.

While I'm addressing these important topics, I present the evidence that I have participated in a "pick pool" over the course of the just-concluded NFL regular season, and tied for first place in my group with 171 of 256 games correctly picked. Sadly, no money was wagered.

171 is better than any of the suckers that ESPN considers "experts," with the exception of former NFL running back Merril Hoge and demonic robot AccuScore, which also pulled in 171 correct picks.

Like all American men who aren't already paid to argue about football on tee-vee, I hope someday to be among the men paid to argue about football on tee-vee. But I have a face for radio, a voice for newsprint, and no playing experience beyond high school, so that's unlikely.


Ian McCullough said...

You played football in high school? Is this an Oklahoma thing? And what is the mascot of Ponca City?

Dale said...

Ian, yes. Playing football is required there unless you wrestle.

I was on the team. Or rather on the same practice field as the team. For a while.

OK, OK, -- they needed people to stand around in uniform in case spare parts (pads, facemasks, etc.) were needed by the players.

Word of the Ponca City High School Wildcats hasn't reached you? How is this possible?

Mike said...

Dale, I believe Merril Hoge was actually a running back, for the Steelers if I recall correctly.

I agree that the Pro Bowl should be abolished. Throw a big party for the honored players as part of the pre-Super Bowl hoopla and call it good.

Dale said...

Mike, of course! Running back. Duh.

I shall make the edit. Thanks.

Tom said...

Doesn't the NBA have an all star game? I didn't know they had a first/second/third team thing. I think that is college sports that does that.

I had to type in mistrate for my word verification. It think it would be wise for all posters to include their post's magic word.

Dale said...

Tom, the NBA does have an all-star game but that doesn't make it right. The NBA all-star game is generally harmless, but I wouldn't miss it.

They also have a first, second, and third "All NBA" teams. I think the recipients get Hardees coupons, but they also get recognized for being the best of their position for the season.

You are free to share your CAPTCHA or not. I hope you will in all cases where it sounds dirty.

larryniven said...

Yeah - the real highlight of the NBA's all-star weekend is the dunk contest, for obvious reasons. The game itself tends to be even more guard-oriented and defense-free than normal league play, and thus in a way the closest thing to a respectable And 1 streetball game. As an added bonus, the all-star uniforms are guaranteed to be more hideous even than throwback uniforms, and recently the players have taken to matching this grotesquery by trying to work dance choreography into the starting lineup announcements. There are also all-NBA teams, as well as all-defensive first and second teams and all-rookie first and I think second teams. I think unofficially there's also an all-foreign team? But I'm not sure.