A view of the line of scrimmage as Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday snaps the ball in the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. The NFC defeated the AFC 62-35. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Why MLB All-Star Game is so much better than NFL Pro Bowl

Tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star game – and its success – raises an NFL wart, something Roger Goodell, the players and the owners haven’t been able to figure out.

MLB’s game of stars is so much better than the Pro Bowl. It’s a fact.

Off the top of my head, here are some of the reasons why.

• The violent nature of football leaves players with no choice than to play at a slower speed to avoid injury. The fan is left wanting.

National League catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a RBI double in the second inning during the 2014 MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports photograph

• The game is rotated among league cities; the Pro Bowl is held in Hawaii – that bastion American football – hahahahahahha.

• Baseball players get to wear their own uniform, head to toe; NFL players are identifiable because they wear their team’s helmet. But that’s it.

• The opening ceremony of baseball’s All-Star game is old school. One introduction at a time ending in the National Anthem; I’m not sure what the Pro Bowl does, but from every football pre-game  I’ve seen I know baseball beats football.

• Fans get to vote for MLB players; Pro Bowl players just seem to appear on a list and distributed worldwide.

After all, this game means something.

• Baseball’s Midseason Classic means something. Since the inception of the rule that gives the winning league the home field advantage in the World Series. Winning the All-Star game does indeed make a difference. The Pro Bowl winners are … nobody. The winners make more money than the losing side. That’s it.

I’m sure there are many other reasons, but I’m distracted by Derek Jeter’s second at-bat in his final All-Star game … his first was a double and run scored; the second a Texas-Leaguer down the right field line. 2-for-2 on the night.

After all, this game means something.

The lesson? Pro Football needs to review the Pro Bowl. It matters to nobody. The NFL can do better.

Maybe they should look to the baseball model as a guide, a starting point toward reform.

Because it’s clear baseball’s All-Stars play a much better game than football’s Pro-Bowlers.

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  • Julie McClure Jurkovich

    I’m watching the All Star Game tonight and really enjoying it. I agree with what you said, but fans do get to elect the Pro Bowl players. Their votes count for one third of the total. And isn’t next year’s Pro Bowl going to be held in Phoenix? Or am I mixed up?

    • RayRivard

      You’re right, Julie. But the selection process in football is like choosing teams for a backyard pickup game where there is no league identity anymore. It’s more like “throw the ball out there and let them play.”

  • trinity

    I completely disagree for one simple reason. baseball is about as interesting as watching water boil in my opinion. Baseball is seriously some boring, yawn inducing shit. I would rather watch the pro-bowl, and it’s not even close.

  • Antonio Nunez

    Wow, someone is a bit jealous. Either way both are not really important. During the regular season we all know the NFL has more fans watching games.

  • TapDogsDad

    I think you have missed the most important reason why the baseball all- star game will ALWAYS outshine the NFL pro bowl game – that is assuming you even like watching baseball

  • TapDogsDad

    Here’s the rest. In baseball each player is an individual that is completely replaceable. A ground ball to 3rd will ALWAYS cause a throw to first, unless there are men on base, and if so, the 3rd baseman’s reaction will depend on that situation. It matters little who is playing what position, and it doesn’t matter at all who is playing in the outfield. The same can be said for most any play. The point is, that you can replace any position with any qualified player and it makes little difference. The baseball all-stars can play well with no practice.

    Absolutely the opposite is true on football! Experience playing together as a team is ESSENTIAL!

    Couple thT with the concern over getting hurt, and anyone can see that the NFL “all-star” game will never be a really good football game.