For years much speculation was being put into the management of the Pro Bowl. After speculation about the game altogether, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell most recently considered changing how teams would be selected after the fans chose which players would make the Pro Bowl. But what if maybe the idea of the Pro Bowl could be expanded to encompass more competitions between the NFL's all-pro players?
Instead of simply a game between the conferences or choosing two captains drafting players to play a football game, fans may get a lot more enjoyment out of seeing their favorite players prove their specific skill sets in different contests. It could solve common blogger debates such as: who's faster between Mike Wallace and DeSean Jackson; who's stronger between G.B. Raja and Vince Wilfork; which quarterback of the selected all-pros has the biggest arm? Also non-football competitions could be fun to watch. Here's a list of ideas the NFL could incorporate into their Pro Bowl weekend:
40 yard Dash Competition:
The scouting combine's most enticing component is undoubtedly the 40 yard dash. Whereas we often find ourselves comparing the dash times of faster players from their combine performances years after their performance at the combine, a lot of talk would be had between players running in a 40 yard dash competition at the end of the season. An award can be given to the fastest player in the league every year, and there would be a lot of investment from fans into the results of such a contest. This way more can be made out of the speed of players than just in-camp competitions that we hear about on blogs.
Strong Man Competition:
The tested bench press weight at the combine is 225 lbs. Between all the lineman, linebackers and big-men of the NFL, why not see who can lift the most weight? Or who could crank out the most repetitions of the 225 lbs. mark? Although this isn't talked about as much as speed, it could still be cool to see who's the strongest player in the league.
Most Explosive Player:
This term is not common in the NFL, but there is a lot to be said about which players have the quickest acceleration, can jump the farthest and move between spots throughout the field. There are a number of competitions that could be compiled into determining who could be the NFL's most explosive player. There could be a long/broad jump competition to see who can jump the farthest from either a still position or a running start. Different shuttle drills could measure quickness, while the power of players' legs can be determined by squats in the weight room to see who can squat the most weight. This could be a collective competition that includes all these mini-contests and determine a title that might get people excited.
3-on-3 Basketball Competition:
Teams often talk who can ball on the court as well as the field. Teams can assemble their best basketball players (if they have 3 collective players total in the Pro Bowl) and play against other teams to see who has the best players in basketball. Fans would love to see the Steelers win with Antonio Brown, Lawrence Timmons and Troy Polamalu playing basketball and it could be something else teams look forward to win at the end of the season.
Best Arm Competition:
Every year we speculate on who has the biggest arm in the league, who is the most accurate passer and even who can throw the best on the run. Why not create a skills competition that combines all these to determine which quarterback is the best pure-passer? Other competitions can be made to see which quarterbacks are the most mobile as well.
Although this may not be a reality, it would make the All-Pro weekend much more enjoyable. It would give the fans more to root for before the Super Bowl and instead of just a less-competitive Pro Bowl game for fans to watch, a lot more talk, interest and competitive spirit could be had at the end of the season with these ideas.
If you have more ideas on competitions feel free to submit them below. You also may not like this idea at all which is completely fine, but the Pro Bowl weekend has gotten very boring over the past several years. Maybe you have ideas to simply change how the game is played? Or maybe you just don't think there should be a game at all? Either way it is something that can generate interesting conversation for fans to spin around to hopefully spark more creative entertainment in the week before the Super Bowl.