Pro Bowl 2014: NFLPA Throws Mud At The Wall To See If It Sticks


No, there wasn’t any shortages of snappy titles to describe the non-traditional NFL All Star Game of 2014. This year’s Pro Bowl will doubtless be a one of a kind event, and a number of titles crossed my mind before settling on that one.

Magyver XMagyver, Senior Staff Writer, Tailgate Sports Network Editor/Webmaster

The first title that occurred to me had less to do with mud, and more to do with a unpleasently aromatic waste byproduct. Then I thought about the movie “Green Mile”, and the phrase Dead Man Walking. I finally decided to use that one at WhoDatDish to be featured in Sports Illustrated, lol…

I had a long talk about this year’s Pro Bowl with my Saints analyst Phil Pullin the other day, and we swapped opinions about the possible motivation in Roger Goodell’s mind to scrap the traditional AFC and NFC rivalry. The moment I had read that news months ago I concluded that the move had signed the death warrant for the Pro Bowl.

Phil actually surprised me with his take on the non-conferenced game. “Look at it this way”, Phil said. “For the first time since 1938 the NFL is finally being honest about what you can expect from the Pro Bowl. The NFL finally dropped all the pretense of the Pro Bowl being a real competition.”

Phil definitely has something there, but I don’t see honesty as being enough to overcome a complete lack of competition between the two conferences. There won’t be conference pride at stake, and with players from teams on both sides of the line of scrimmage I can see little chance of a hard-fought game.

The there’s the fantasy football aspect. I see it as a desperate move or a hair brained scheme by the NFLPA (who came up with the idea). Is that another attempt at honesty, or an admission that the competition level and quality of performance are mere fantasy? Perhaps, or maybe Goodell thinks enough fantasy football fan viewers can help make the Pro Bowl TV ratings climb a bit after falling for two years straight.

The five “time clock rule changes” are the wild card. The question is why, and why now in the Pro Bowl. The answer may very well be two, or even three-fold. It may be a wild hair Roger pulled out of dat azz, or even evidence of a intracranial brain aneurysm. It could also be a test to see how the new time clock rules would affect future games.

Is the NFL using the 2014 Pro Bowl as a Guinea Pig to test time clock rule changes for the 2014 regular season and beyond? Most likely, as I can’t see Roger Goodell endangering his prized pet gerbil for the job. He would never allow it in the stadium with all those sweaty, muscular, violent men.

There there, don’t be scared little fella…

Disclaimer to PETA: Goodell’s pet gerbil wasn’t injured in the production of this article.

Picture Credit: Pic courtesy of

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