Anyone who's been watching football for at least the past few years should know what the NFL stands for. The No Fun League does its best to take any enjoyment from the players before, during and after the game. For the most part I get it, at least when player safety is involved, but I miss the creative TD celebrations! I learned last weekend a camera stand is considered a prop, while jumping up in the stands for some "grandfathered-in" leap, or using the goal posts as a basketball hoop are not. Basically, the league/refs choose when fun is considered acceptable.
Luckily the league decided to lighten up a bit with the Pro Bowl. Regardless of what the "Online Community Manager at the School of Information Studies" at Cuse thought, I will fully admit to being excited for the game after learning the players would be allowed to tweet from the sidelines. Finally, fun would be allowed.
Let's be honest, the Pro Bowl is, and always has been, somewhat of a joke. Still fun to watch at times, but not a game to be taken seriously. There's no home field advantage to gain and really, they're playing in Hawaii, what do you expect? I definitely support the move to before the Super Bowl. One, it breaks up the 2 weeks of mindless coverage where sports writers start digging up stories about how a players goldfish from the school carnival influenced their decision to pursue football as a career. Two, even though football is my #1 sport, after the Super Bowl I'm pretty much ready for the season to be over and move on to college basketball. I really don't care about not seeing players from the Super Bowl teams. They'll be on my TV, between the more exciting coverage (commercials), next week.
Back to the tweeting, I expected playful jabbing, commentary on teammates, and a general overall sense of enjoyment. I thought they'd take this moment of breakthrough from all the stiff rules and do something with it! Instead, I was almost as bored reading the tweets as I was watching the game.
I'd be lying if I said I watched the entire game (the SAG Awards were on, weighing the entertainment value the choice was clear), but I did keep the Pro Bowl list up on Twitter. The best part was London Fletcher offering up $1,000 to the first fan who guessed the final score and the MVP, then having to take it back because the NFL gave him a no-go. How fitting.
I wouldn't mind seeing the Pro Bowl as a flag football game without coaches. Let the players rule the game, and the ones not voted in can be announcers. Throw in some tailgating, and maybe a few beers on the sidelines and you've got some serious entertainment!