Amateurish Pro Bowl Anything But Thrilling

Photo from NFL.com.

I didn’t vote for any Buffalo Bills to reach the Pro Bowl.  I admit this knowing the risk of banishment.  But my refusal to stuff the ballot box shouldn’t be viewed as neglecting my patriotic duty.  It’s not like I went with some other inferior team’s hopefuls.  If brought to trial, my defense will be that I did what I thought was best for the Bills Mafia, as always. I’m thinking of the family.

I don’t want to watch Football on Ice more than players should want to participate.  The all-star event features no-star excitement, as it’s the dullest simulacrum of competition since Vontae Davis’s half.

Players have to be pros first before getting to the Pro Bowl.  Wags would claim that, as a Bills fan, I don’t have to worry.  Our favorites have to earn it.  Like Killer Carlson, their attitude’s right. But double-digit losses is a tough barrier to certification even if they came in spite of the sterling effort of any player in question.

Yet I’ll be even less likely to punch a favorite name if the stars finally align in Buffalo’s favor.  Players who deserve to attend the Pro Bowl are precisely the ones who shouldn’t be forced.

The game’s greatest talents should get to watch others compete for their amusement.  Pro Bowl players are a step away from wearing sweatpants. Avoiding injury and any sort of exertion should be easy. But it’s even easier if you don’t go.  As for an ex-Bill, I would prefer all-time hard worker Kyle Williams get retirement started officially rather than being stuck at an event known for slacking.

Photo from shuttershock.com.

We don’t need affirmation to prove a player excels.  The Pro Bowl decides who’s cool enough to sit at the popular lunch table.  Did you enjoy such arbitrary superficiality in junior high?  If so, have I got a lame contest for you.

Voting’s as scientific as turning dirt into gold.  NFL officiating is less arbitrary than which players get chosen as the alleged best.

An embarrassing allegiance to a wholly flawed procedure’s results makes the Pro Bowl as preposterous as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the epitome of horrid judgment in action.  Alice Cooper was awesome long before 2011 when snotty voters finally decided he was worthy of enshrinement. 

Photo of John Cougar Mellencamp from amazon.com.

By the twisted procedure’s laughable timeline, John freaking Cougar Mellencamp rocks harder because the phony small-town defender got sent to Cleveland before the Prince of Darkness.  Please hurry up and elect so I can decide whose snappy tunes I enjoy.

Football isn’t the only industry where a shady title is given too much credence.  Movie producers can explain why a movie is appealing, or they can just gesture to the Oscar on the poster.  As with the Academy Awards, anyone watching should be suspicious of who’s voting.  Purported experts don’t get to determine taste.

An annual nonchalant event amounts to credentialing.  Pro Bowlers get to identify themselves as such.  Players who make it can add the achievement to their business cards.  But the forgettable actual outing goes against everything supposedly being honored.

The appeal of watching the very best care the very least is lost on fans.  Free passes to score are bad enough in basketball where defense is optional.  A sport which is supposed to feature tackling is abysmal without fighting back.

Photo of WR Kelvin Benjamin from buffalonews.com.

Kelvin Benjamin could be a Pro Bowler in that he doesn’t sweat.  Sunday’s anti-football event is guaranteed flag football look intense.  Our favorite sport’s most exhibition-like of scrimmages gives those watching hope they can play in the NFL because of how little talent is displayed.  An aversion to violence is a preview of how actual games will look in three or four years.  

Oh, like you take work with you on vacation.  The game’s premier stars understandably decide the ostensible game is a free trip somewhere warm in January.  But that doesn’t mean anyone should watch someone else enjoy a voyage.  Carnival Cruise ads aren’t substitutes for an actual drunken stuffed suntanning festival.

Treating the outing like time off is natural.  Hate the pretend game, not the player.  The other Mickey Mouse outfit in Orlando is noted for participants not trying hard.  And we don’t want them to do so.  Save that risk for a postseason push.

Players want to be identified.  Athletes like the recognition as anyone would.  Hank Hill is proud of each of his 41 employee of the month awards. But anyone good at a profession doesn’t need a plaque.  Fans voting for whoever wears their preferred logo may not actually be choosing wisely.

We can assemble the league’s best without making them pretend to chase the ball.  If there must be an all-star event, the league should have a competition that doesn’t involve playing faux football.  I’d watch stars vie in a Chexx Hockey tournament.  A pinball competition would be infinitely more thrilling than the present event.  Or, a wing-eating contest handicapped by position would serve as a fine way to show who’s best.  Finally, we’ll get a Pro Bowl worth the effort.

Editor’s babble: Thanks to Anthony Bialy for keeping us laughing as we wait to endure yet another Super Bowl featuring the Patriots. I won’t be watching. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.