Good morning Bills Fan,
For some reason I'm extra excited about this beautiful Monday morning. Maybe its because the Patriots lost again in the Super Bowl, or maybe it's because I got the answer to the age old question, "how to fix the Pro Bowl"?
Now it looks like our friend Phelps716 posted a thread last night on this topic. So I guess great minds think a like, but I wanted to give a more comprehensive analysis on this topic.
So last night after the Super Bowl, I get a call a from the Commissioner, yeah thats right; Roger Goodell. Now I know him as "Rog", but for the sake of this piece we will just call him Roger. I went to school with his nephew back in NY, so I've always been a friend of the family. Any who, he calls me up from time-to-time asking for my opininon on different matters involving the NFL. Bills series in Toronto, yep that was my idea. He likes to get the opinion of the everyday fan, and he knows that he can count on the "Doc" to give an honest opinion. So last night was no difference, since his comments he made yesterday on the "Mike and Mike in the Morning Show.
After the jump, I'll tell you the 10 things that I told him that will fix the Pro Bowl and ultimately make him a Hall of Fame Commissioner.
1) Don't call me so late- my wife is going to kill me :-)
2) Change the location- Hawaii is great and all, but you have to have the game in a place where the average fan is willing and able to travel. There is no reason why we need to look at the Pro Bowl and half of the stadium is empty. According to the NFL and these TV Networks, that game should've been blacked out. So if you are really serious about having a Pro Bowl, build a stadium in Las Vegas. Can you imagine how much fun that will be? Now that's an event I can really see myself going to. If not Vegas, go to Pasadena and have it there.
3) Change when you have it- This crap about the game being before the Super Bowl is ridiculous. Have it the week after the Super Bowl, so that all the NFL players that are selected could play.
4) Change how the players are selected- The idea that us fans have a 1/3 vote on who makes the Pro Bowl is laughable. Am I the only one who voted for, Fitzpatrick, George Wilson, Jarius Byrd, Stevie Johnson, Marcel Dareus, Fred Jackson, Nick Barnett, and Chandler? Probably not. It's also laughable, that the coaches and players also have a 1/3 vote. It's a popularity contest, and thats never the right way to decide on things. Have an impartial selection committee who looks at statstics and overall players value to their team, and have them select the players. Make a big deal out of it, like what you do with the draft. Put it on ESPN, prime time and select the players then.
5) Only the best players go- As many of you are aware by now, I hate structure , so having conferences is an idea I don't like. But for the life of me I don't understand the idea of having an All-Star game and you not selecting the best players available. Get rid of the whole AFC v NFC thing, because a) no one cares about this foolish "rivalry" anymore, and b) this ensures that no one will be off the list because their conference has great talent at a specific positoin. If there are 6 great QB's in the NFC, those 6 QB's should play in the Pro Bowl, period.
6) Change how the rosters are set- As a fan, the one thing that I will enjoy seeing, is seeing the best players play with one another regardless of what conferences they are in. So once the selection committee determines the Pro Bowl roster, two captains are selected by the committee. Each captain will select the players that they want on their team, thats right, the same way we use to do it when we picked teams on the play grounds growing up. Air this on ESPN, and have an old fashion coin flip or rock scissors paper to determine who picks first. Cover this the same way the draft is covered. Have each captain determine the names of the team and colors of the uniform.
7) Change the uniform- Now that Nike is going to be the official apparel of the NFL, have them design one of those cutting edge uniforms that they design for the college teams. Let sponsors by space on the team uniforms or helmets. Great way to generate or subsidize income for the new stadium in Veags. I wouldn't mind seeing a large Budweiser can on the helmets, haha. Now thats a message to send to kids.
8) Change the game- The rules in the Pro Bowl are foolish. You can't play certain defenses, you can't blitz, yada yada yada. Let the guys play football the way its normally played. Also, allow them to do things they would normally get fined for during the regular NFL game. Let them celebrate and dance, and be interactive with theirs fan through social media and other outlets.
9) Compensation- The MAJOR problem why this game is so dull and boring, is that the players just don't care. Well as we seen first hand during this lockout, the only thing that motivates the majority of these players is MONEY. Currently, the players get an all expenses paid trip for them in their family to Hawaii. The winning players get $50k and losing players get $20k. After taxes, that kind of money is nothing to these players, especially if it inolves them getting hurt and losing out on a potential free agent contract. Stevie who isn't paid no where near the type amount of money as some of the other players, was willing to accept that type of money in terms of a fine last season. You really think he cares about $20k after taxes? But compensation just doesn't stop at the players, everyone has to be compensated.
*Players Compensation- Each player from the winning team gets 2.5 million, and 1 million for the losing team. Who pays for this? Teams pays for this. Each player has it in their contract that if they make it to the Pro Bowl, their team pays them a bonus. If you are an NFL owner, why do you want this? Read Below.
*Team Compensation- Each team who has a player thats represented in the Pro Bowl, gains an extra pick in the 3rd round of the upcoming draft. However, those picks will be made at the end of the 3rd round, after each team has already made their picks. The order would be determined by number of players they had selected to the Pro Bowl. The team who has the most players represented, also will get the last pick (pick #33) in the 1st round of the draft. I think NFL owners will be completly behind this, as they will gain an extra pick to better there teams.
*NFL Compensation- A great product for the fans. A game that will generate more sponsorships and better TV adds. Major income potential.
10) Add me to his staff- :-)
Okay Bills fans, what do you think? I know this is a lot, but no one said being a "doctor" is easy. Did I cure the problem, or did I make it worse? What do you suggest? Where did I go wrong? How would you fix it?
I hope you enjoyed reading the Morning Joe, and I hope some of the humor help get you through the worst day of the week for Bills fans; Super Bowl Monday