ESPN is reporting that the NFL is contemplating placing the Pro Bowl on unpaid leave. It doesn't sound like the league wants to kill the annual All-Star game completely, but put it on the shelf and think of ways to make it more appealing to the fan/viewer/customer/player before moving ahead.
Despite decent TV ratings - the NFL could hold a team breakfast and people would watch - the game is a total dog and apparently the league is tired of trotting out a bad product.
The players love a free trip to Hawaii after the season. Even though these guys make six or seven figures they always seem to demand free, and insulted when it's not part of the deal.
And they hate playing another game.
The game hit a new-low in January when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers ripped his NFC teammates for basically not trying. He was right. It was an embarrassment watching linemen stand up after the snap like it was a drill in shorts.
NFL crime boss Roger Goodell has been tinkering with this game since he took over, including having it played in Miami, etc. Nothing has really worked, and nothing seems to prevent the real Pro Bowlers from backing out leaving the game to be played by a collection of replacements who didn't earn the spot.
It is an impossible equation. Players simply don't want to risk getting hurt for a game that means zero, not even for a free trip to Hawaii.
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