Pro Bowl is no more than average

Elder’s Eric Wood makes Pro Bowl, but is the event in trouble?

Pro Bowl is no longer the NFLs best

photoshop by Cole Carle '17

Pro Bowl is no longer the NFLs best

Since 2010, the NFL’s Pro Bowl has been played the week before the Super Bowl. This has started a trend gradually getting greater each year in the number of first invited players dropping out for reasons.

These reasons may include making the Super Bowl, injuries, or the fact that they don’t want to play a week before the Super Bowl. Eighty-six players were originally invited to the Pro Bowl this year, however due to these exemptions, the total amount of players invited this season has reached 135.

According to ESPNs Kevin Seifert it is the most declined invitation in all star game history. This year has already surpassed the 2009 record of 119 invites. The fact that the game is being played a week before the Super Bowl is a big blow to this year’s stars as 14 players (10 Panthers, and 4 Broncos) will not be eligible to play in the Pro Bowl. They will not get to experience a real honor and what was a great achievement for a wonder season.

The Bengals own Reggie Nelson is among the list of players who have dropped out, due to his injury in the playoff game. Andy Dalton was named first alternate to the game, but due to the game being played before the Super Bowl rather then after (changed in the 2010 season) he is not ready.

However, the Who Dey nation will be represented by six other members of this year’s franchise (tied) best record as Carlos Dunlap, Adam Jones, and Cedric Peerman will join Green, Whitworth, and Atkins. The quarterback position will contain the least star studded lineup of the past decade of the event, with rookie Jameis Winston replacing Tom Brady and joining Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Eli Manning, Tyrod Taylor, and Teddy Bridgewater.

What should the NFL do about the Pro Bowl?

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Eric Wood earns his first trip to the Pro Bowl photoshop by Cole Carle ’17

However, congratulations to Elder’s own Eric Wood, who has been invited to the Pro Bowl, to replace Ryan Kalil. Wood, who is a center for the Buffalo Bills has become one of the best at his position in the NFL and has deserved this honor the past few years, finally being recognized in 2016.

The Pro Bowl would benefit from moving back to the original date of after the Big Game, as well as having the selection process mandate that each team have at least have one representative as the Chargers, Bears, and Saints will not have a member this season.

As you can tell the game needs to change, but how? Should they change the date back? How they select pro bowlers for each team? Could they make a first ballot Pro Bowl list that’s more recognizable? The answers will come soon because with all the new invitees this year, the game as it stands now will  surely not last.