The Major League Baseball All-Star game, featuring the Home Derby, is the pinnacle of All-Star games.
Even the National Basketball Association All-Star game, with the Slam Dunk contest, is a major part of the NBA season.
But no one really cares about the National Football League All-Pro game. Not even the players.
The NFL attempted to generate more interest – for both fans and players – by moving the All-Pro game back to the states from Hawaii, as well as moving it to the week prior to the Super Bowl instead of the week after. It hasn’t worked.
Every year it seems more and more NFL players bail on the All-Pro game due to “injuries.” Not to question anyone’s integrity (ok maybe a little bit – yes, I’m talking to you Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers and Larry Fitzgerald) but you almost never see a baseball or basketball player backing out of the all-star game for injury reasons – unless they are truly injured. With the exception of Wes Welker, most of the guys who have backed out would still be starting and playing this weekend and in the Super Bowl, if their teams were still playing.
The list of “All-Pros” get so much bigger every year, it really starts to diminish the meaning of the term. It’s a joke. By the time the game is played, half the league has had their names on the list at one point or another. If the title “All-Pro” only applied to the guys voted in, that would be one thing, but any guy who puts on the jersey next weekend will be knighted as an “All-Pro” whether they truly deserved it or not.
Hell, Matt Cassell and Jamarcus Russell are sitting on the edge of their couches waiting for a few other guys to back out so they get their call to the All-Pro game.
Then, they can order some new business cards from VistaPrint that say “NFL All-Pro” on them.
And if the NFL allows itself to make a mockery of its all-star process, then how can they expect any of the fans to care about the game?
Just save us all the trouble and misery of watching a sub-par All-Pro game and just select and All-Pro team at the end of the season and just cancel the game. No one will really care. Trust me.
Mr Pressbox Out!!