Denver Broncos coach John Fox (left) and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy shake hands after the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. The NFC defeated the AFC 62-25. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Pro Bowl is a joke, even with new format; end it now

NFC guard Josh Sitton of the Green Bay Packers poses during the team photo at NFC media day for the 2013 Pro Bowl at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The National Football League’s Pro Bowl has been nothing short of the toilet bowl in recent years and the decision to turn it into a backyard flag football game will do nothing to increase its popularity and attract fans.

By the time the game is played at the conclusion of the regular season, only those players who want a free vacation to Hawaii commit to the brotherhood’s version of the family reunion outing.

And don’t tell me that recruiting former players Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders as the “captains” in charge of selecting players for their teams will make a difference. It’s an embarrassment and a mockery of the game.

The way I understand it, there will be no NFC or AFC team, but players selected from both conferences will man the teams. One team could have Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning (though I doubt either will be interested in playing) playing against an opposing team with Drew Brees and Tom Brady. It’s an interesting concept and kind of fun to think it could happen.

But think about whether Clay Matthews, who if playing on the opposite side of the ball from Rodgers, will actually try to sack his teammate. My guess is not.

The novelty will be shortlived. This is a plan that may have a modicum of success for a couple of years before the mass yawn session is back to its pathetic depths of previous years.

Kill the game. End it now. Put it out of its memory.

Select players on the merits of their regular season. Let them garner the honor and earn their bonus for being selected, but don’t play the game. It’s not worth anyone’s time. Surely the league doesn’t make the kind of revenue on the game where they will feel the pain of its demise.

From a fan’s perspective, please put everyone out of their misery and end the season where it should end for the majority of players and teams in the league – at the conclusion of the regular season. The Playoffs and Super Bowl are enough for fans to enjoy.

End it now.

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