Six Rules That Would Make the Pro Bowl Watchable

Guest Post by Ryan Graham, friend of SportsChump and creator of Coach’s Rant.


NFL Pro BowlThe Pro Bowl recently underwent some changes… yet again. No one actually wants to watch the Pro Bowl. The game is usually only on for background noise. It’s a meaningless scrimmage between players who would much rather be spending time with their families. Up to this point, the game has been an afterthought. But the NFL wants to change that. In an attempt to make the Pro Bowl more “fan friendly,” the following rule changes were announced last Wednesday:

  • Major changes include elimination of AFC vs. NFC format, fantasy football-like draft for team assignments, rules and roster changes;

  • Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders to serve as alumni captains

  • Game within the Game– A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct “two-minute drills,” which are especially exciting for fans.

  • No Kickoffs– The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.

  • Rosters– The rosters will continue to consist of 43 players per squad. The kick return specialist will be replaced by an additional defensive back.

  • Cover Two and Press Coverage– The defense will be permitted to play “cover two” and “press” coverage. In previous years, only “man” coverage was permitted, except for goal line situations.

  • Stopping of the Game Clock– At the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play was an incomplete pass. This rule eliminates the ability of a team in the lead near the end of the game to easily “take a knee” to secure their win.

  • Game Timing– The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.

  • Play Clock– A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.

  • Sacks– The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

So in a nutshell, the NFL wants to make this game as close to fantasy football as possible. But I still feel like something’s missing. Even with these new rules, I’m still not going to watch the Pro Bowl. That got me to thinking, what would make me want to watch the Pro Bowl? Being the creative mind that I am, I came up with some solutions:

Make Players Play Out of Position

Players will not be allowed to play their normal position. D-linemen would start at Running back; Punters would start at Left Tackle and so on. The game would be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We’ve all seen Tom Brady play Quarterback. We all know what to expect at this point. Wouldn’t it be fun to send the Golden Boy on a seam route from the slot and watch him get decapitated by Strong Safety Sebastian Janikowski? That last sentence gave me the chills… I WOULD KILL TO SEE THAT!

Fans Get to Play

Watching fans play against each other would be downright awful. But watching fans against actual players?  Where do I sign? We’re not talking Spike TV Pros vs. Joes here; these would be grown ass men, in the primes of their careers intermixed with out of shape dipshits. Millions of fans would sign up for a chance to play with their favorite NFL stars. You’d just have to make them sign a liability contract like the contestants on that show Wipeout so the NFL can’t get sued even more than they are already. Any person with a pulse would be glued to their TV as Richie Bonaccorso, the street-wise amateur boxer from South Philly gets suplexed by Patrick Willis.

No Penalties

That would sure speed the game up. There would still be referees mind you, but instead of throwing flags and stopping play, they would punish rule-breakers with good old fashioned street-justice. Say a would-be holding penalty opens up a big hole. Boom! Ed Hochuli clotheslines your Running Back at the line of scrimmage. Say a Defensive Back interferes with a receiver. Wham! He gets a Jeff Triplette kick to the groin. Excessive celebration in the end zone? Pow! Mike Carey chokes that bitch out with the string of his whistle.

Dress the Players up as Mascots

Yes, just like Mascot Mode in the NCAA Football video games. Imagine players struggling to run as their thick felt costumes weigh them down. It would probably make the game terrible but it would look hilarious. Plus, you’d gain a sizeable audience from the Furry Fandom community. And I mean come on, it’s the Pro Bowl, you need all the viewers you can get.

Give the Spectators Weapons

Not guns and knives! I’m talking more like tennis balls that fans can throw onto the field during play. Nothing that would get players hurt; just something to mildly annoy/stun them. On second thought, you’d probably need to supply fans with some kind of tennis ball launcher since most of them probably lack the arm strength to hit the field. It would be a spectacle to behold, as a sea of tennis balls rains down to try to stop an Adrian Peterson from reaching the end zone on a breakaway run.

Turn it into a Drinking Game

If the offense gets a first down, the defense has to take a sip of beer. If there’s a turnover, offensive players have to do a beer bong. If they score, it’s shots of Disaronno all around. Hell, the players would love it! They’d all rather be getting loaded anyway. By the second half, a third of the players would be passed out, another third would be beating the hell out of each other and the rest would be in the stands hitting on college chicks. At some point it would cease to be a game. But then again, the Pro Bowl isn’t really a game either.

So in conclusion, the Pro Bowl according to my rules would be a football game where drunken mascots get assaulted by referees and pelted with tennis balls. Tell me you wouldn’t tune in to catch that action. You’re welcome, Roger Goodell.

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13 Replies to “Six Rules That Would Make the Pro Bowl Watchable”

  1. Personally, Ry, I say just say replace the whole thing with a skills competition. Those are fun as hell to watch and I’m not sure why they don’t do them anymore.

    No player wants to risk injury but they’re always down for a trip to the islands with the family after a long season.

    So have different skill tests for different positions and leave it at that.

    I’m not sure even the proposed rule changes will do much for ratings but throw a couple tires on the gridiron fifty yards down the field and you might have something.

  2. Hey, while you’re at it, bring back the Runner-up Bowl that Vince Lombardi loathed. Sorry guys, a little before your time. but as the late Casey Stengel would say, “You can look it up”.

    The piece was informative and humorous. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: Six Rules That Would Make The Pro Bowl More Watchable | Coach's Rant

  4. Look the ProBowl is about as riveting as seeing one`s grandmother naked ! Now NFLPA President Dominique Foxworth believes the way to illicit more interest is to have a Draft , based on a Fantasy System .

    The NFLPA wants a fantasy draft in terms of fans picking players for their year end game. Those idiots (NFLPA) choose not to address the issue of player misconduct on and off the field during the pre-season and regular season , but they want a draft system <i< in which the fans participate . Is there anything more self-conceited than that utter crap ?

    My fantasy concerning the NFL would , be for Roger Goodell to be accosted by fans and for him to have his @ss kicked to hell ! Just my point of view , mind you !

    Your comment concerning LeBron presiding over A Rod`s trial can`t happen as the case with the baseball player is a non-criminal case and simply a tribunal . The Justice System continues to be a joke anyway , because it is clear that a criminal offense has been committed by Alex Rodriguez, but law enforcement chooses not to pursue it as a legal matter .

    tophatal …………..

  5. I like the drinking game idea. The broadcast booth should be included as well. After every worn out cliché all the commentators have to take a shot of tequila. Then we could find out how Al Michaels really feels about Jon Gruden.

  6. And those grandmothers were undoubtedly cougars looking for a piece of the Sportschump and whatever you have on offer ?

    As if the Aaron Hernandez story could not get any worse . Law enforcement now believe that his fiancee` is now also implicated in the murder of Odin Lloyd . Shanevva Jenkins may well have been te individual to have taken the murder weapon from te player`s home and dumped it . She is about to be questioned by the district attorney`s office and their investigators .

    By any chance did you catch the incident during the game between the Orioles and San Francisco Gaints ? Some idiot felt it appropriate to throw a banana onto the field at Baltimore Orioles` player Adam Jones . In a response to what took place , a buffoon from within the league`s head office stated that they did not believe that the incident , yet warranted any action . I guess if someone can defecate on a statue of Jackie Robinson and daub graffiti over it . Then it must now be OK to throw a banana at an African American ballplayer at a game and then make a racially insensitive remarks about his ethnicity ?

    tophatal …………

  7. Al…

    Hey, at least Aaron Hernandez’s woman stood by her man, right? Reminds me of when Ray Liotta handed Lorraine Bracco that bloody gun for the first time in Goodfellas right after he pistol-whipped their tennis-playing neighbor for flirting with her. It kinda turned her on.

    And between the Riley Cooper case and the Jackie Robinson statue defamation and the banana throwing incident, I think you’ve finally convinced me that race relations have gone nowhere but backwards in this country.

  8. Alan, I think everyone would like to see Roger Goodell get his ass kicked. On second thought, forget this entire article. If they really want to make the pro bowl interesting, scrap the whole game and instead just air a mixed martial arts cage match between Roger Goodell and James Harrison every year.

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