I hate the NFL's Pro Bowl. I always have. It's an absurd event that shouldn't exist.
Think about this for a second. It takes a team a solid month of practicing and learning the playbook before they're ready to play a preseason game. It then takes them another month of practicing with preseason games mixed in before they're ready to play regular season games, and the first few weeks of the NFL season were particularly sloppy this season while coaches complained about the new restrictions on the amount of time players are allowed to practice in those 2 months.
Most of the time, these players and coaches are not working together for the first time.
Now, the Pro Bowl takes a collection of players who haven't played together, pairs them with coaches that have never coached them, and gives them 2 weeks to do the whole thing. It gets even better this year, as I believe the coaches are former CB (and not a coach) Deion Sanders and former WR (and not a coach) Jerry Rice.
Who cares? I care. Because the players are still putting on pads. It's still a dangerous sport. There are still players running head-first into each other at full-speed, and there are still piles where knees can be twisted and ACLs torn.
So, the risks are not lowered. In fact, the risks are higher because the players are unsure of the playbook and their teammates. And the less they're on the same page with each other, the more boring football gets. The Pro Bowl is just three hours of broken plays and garbage time while hungover players do their best to avoid injury. This event may be a money-maker, but there's almost no point for the fans or the players.
The only thing that used to almost save the event was being able to root for your conference (i.e. the team that has players from your favorite team). Go AFC! Beat the NFC! Show them that the Chargers' 9-7 record is more meaningful than the Cardinals' 10-6 record. But, nope....not this year. Probably not ever again. Philip Rivers is on one team (Team Rice) while Eric Weddle is on the other (Team Sanders). Just wait for the reaction when Weddle injures Rivers on a sack. Tom Telesco might kill somebody.
I understand the idea. The owners make money and the players get a bonus, plus a fun trip to Hawaii for their family. I think the trip can happen, and the players can participate in individual non-contact events, without the game. The owners will make less money, but they're not exactly hurting to generate profit from their teams. The fans will be treated to a better overall experience/event and Tom Telesco won't have to kill somebody.