This is a report from F.I.R.S.T. Fieldgulls Investigative Report, Special Teams
Hours and hours of an average NFL fan's time is spent arguing and debating the merits of the Pro Bowl roster. From Tim Tebow to Brandon Browner, fans want to see their teams make the NFL "All Star" roster as recognition for their hard work. And by see I mean, read a news report. And by hard work I mean, play for the Packers.
However, none of those fans will ever actually watch the Pro Bowl.
You may hear a fan claim to have seen it, or perhaps even claim to have gone to Hawaii to watch the game, but according to my sources: they are all either lying or confused. Because the Pro Bowl has never been played.
Remember that one Pro Bowl that was played? No? Well, do you remember that really famous Pro Bowl play? You don't?
Nobody does. My source, an NFL executive that has asked me to hide his or her identity (it's a guy though) told me that they normally send ESPN highlights from anonymous regular season games like Browns versus Jaguars and that nobody really notices. Said a producer for SportsCenter: "Yeah, the NFL sends us Pro Bowl highlights I think. We've never really shown them or looked at them. Normally we'll just have Chris Berman or someone say "The Pro Bowl happened today" and then move on."
For years, the NFL would send players to Hawaii (specially selected because of it's remoteness, distance from the continental U.S., and full of distractions for any fan that might have actually decided to go to the game) and then tell them to just hang out, have fun, take a vacation. At some point during the vacation, players would pose in "Pro Bowl gear" for promotional pictures and then actors would put helmets on and take the "game shots" just in case anyone came around asking.
Except nobody really ever did.
Despite the NFL being the most popular sport in America, it's game of All-Stars isn't watched by a single soul because of things like the timing of the game, it's lack of defense, the amount of players that drop out, and a lack of big hits. My source tells me that while some players drop out because of injury, others "can't keep up with the lies."
That's not hard for many players, such as six-time Pro Bowler Troy Aikman. Quote: "He never knew what the f*ck was going on."
I polled 1000 random fans and asked them if they'll watch the Super Bowl. 89% said "Yes" while 4% said "Maybe" with only 7% as a firm "No."
When I asked them the same question about the Pro Bowl, I got these results:
81% - "No"
9% - "It's fun to play, but I'm not really a fan of watching bowling."
6% - "Maybe. If I have time. I have this thing to do. I really wish I could."
4% - "I told you to stop calling my house Roger Goodell."
So if they never play the Pro Bowl, what do they play on the network during the allotted time?
"It changes every year. One year we ran Necessary Roughness. Another time we ran re-runs of Small Wonder. It doesn't really matter because nobody has ever tuned in. Last year we simulcasted from CSPAN-2. Not a single complaint."
My source believes that this report may spark the NFL to act quick and actually play the game this season. To not just scratch down random numbers for a box score and mail it to the guy that runs the Pro Bowl Wikipedia page, of which has 2 hits: both from me today.
"More than likely, we will have the guys go out there and run two or three plays and then they can go back to the beach after viewers have gotten "proof" of it's existence," says the source.
"By next year, nobody will be watching it again."
And isn't that what the Pro Bowl is all about?