Pro Bowl teams will reportedly now be decided with fantasy draft
The Pro Bowl has long been known as one of the most boring events of the calendar year in sports, and there is nothing the NFL seems to be able to do to change that. The latest idea to improve the annual event is going to make you laugh — bring on the fantasy draft.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFL has decided to eliminate the traditional AFC vs. NFC Pro Bowl format. Instead, the teams will be chosen fantasy draft style by two captains. This year’s captains (or owners or managers or whatever you want to call them) are Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, according to Schefter. Rice and Sanders will choose their teams during the Pro Bowl Draft.
Pro Football Talk added that the 86 players who go to Hawaii will still be selected by a combination of fans, coaches and players. Rice, Sanders, two of the highest vote-getters on offense and defense, and two fans will then draft teams from the group of 86.
“One of these champions will earn their spot as part of Lenovo’s Fantasy Coach of the Year program, which provides NFL.com fans a chance to be rewarded for their fantasy football skills,” the league announced. “The other champion can compete for a Pro Bowl role by playing at NFL.com/fantasy.”
[Related: NFL allows players to tweet during Pro Bowl]
The game will still be played the week before the Super Bowl, which will rule out any players who play for the AFC or NFC champion. Kickoffs have also been eliminated from the game, likely in an attempt to prevent injury.
For whatever reason, the NFL just refuses to get rid of the Pro Bowl. The idea of having the game before the Super Bowl has done essentially nothing to revive it, as evidenced by the league’s decision to incorporate a fantasy draft. I suppose it’s possible that the NFL will be able to pull some additional ratings from fans watching the draft itself on TV, but the idea sounds lame. In that sense, it’s perfect for the Honolulu classic.