Admittedly, I watched all of about two seconds of the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl. With not much else on Sunday night, I really did try to tune in, but I quickly turned the channel after witnessing the awful pre-game musical act. That was all I could take before realizing that it just wasn't worth the time. Instead, I spent the night watching some U.S. women's soccer against Canada and the Royal Rumble, as well as writing about the latest recruiting news for Michigan and Michigan State.
Based on all of the anti-Pro Bowl tweets that rolled into my Twitter feed on Sunday night, I think I made a good decision to skip watching the game. From what I've gathered, the general consensus seems to be that the Pro Bowl either needs to be drastically overhauled or simply eliminated, because players just don't try hard, and I don't blame them. Nothing is on the line except a small difference in bonus money, and it would be stupid to risk an injury in what really is nothing more than a glorified walkthrough.
Proof of the lack of effort can be found in the score. The AFC won 59-41 thanks in part to four touchdown receptions by Brandon Marshall. I know some football games where the players are actually trying can have scores similar to this, but in the Pro Bowl I think it had more to do with the defense not trying hard than anything else. After all, the two teams racked up more than 1,100 yards during the game. I know this season was all about the offense, but if the players were actually trying, the score would not have been quite so ridiculous.
In any case, I guess the ridiculousness of the Pro Bowl just shows that we fans probably shouldn't lose too much sleep over somebody like Matthew Stafford not making the game. I know it is a great honor on paper to be named to the Pro Bowl, but at the end of the day it's really nothing more than a free trip to Hawaii and a contract bonus for some of the players. And with the way the Pro Bowl has gone in recent years, I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
(With all of that said, I do want to point out that Cam Newton managed to go an awful 9-of-27 for 186 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in a game where playing defense was basically optional. I still don't understand how he was selected to the game over Stafford.)