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.
• 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.
• 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.