Lutz Blog

The Pro Bowl needs to go away

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the hard hit Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson put on Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles had knocked Charles out of the Pro Bowl with his second concussion in as many games.

Remember, Charles missed most of the Chiefs’ AFC wild-card playoff game against Indianapolis after suffering a hit early.

But he was out there for the Pro Bowl, the most meaningless “competition” in all of sports. And because of a new format, in which teammates can be opponents, he and Johnson found themselves on, literally, a collision course.

Johnson’s tackle of Charles looked worse than it was. Charles got up, dusted himself off and went back to wondering why he ever agreed to play in the game.

Johnson, meanwhile, dodged the possibility of becoming a vilified Chiefs player simply because he did what he’s trained to do – hit somebody.

This craziness has to stop. The Pro Bowl must now cease to exist. No more trips to Hawaii for these guys.

It doesn’t matter what anyone does to try and make the Pro Bowl more watchable and legitimate. It will never be either.

First of all, nobody cares who wins the Pro Bowl, least of all the players.

Football junkies watch the Pro Bowl. I assume some of the more disturbed in this group even bet on the game.

What a waste of time.

Unless . . . unless someone like Charles suffers a serious injury. Inflicted by a teammate, no less. If Charles had been unable to continue in the Pro Bowl . . . first of all he would have been lucky. Secondly, though, what would have been the fallout in Kansas City?

Charles is the franchise player for the Chiefs. Of every player on the team’s 53-man roster, he’s the one Kansas City could least afford to lose.

It would be one thing, I suppose, for Charles to suffer a Pro Bowl injury that was inflicted by someone from the Bears, Lions or Giants. But from his own team?

Nonsensical. What exactly are guys like Charles and Johnson doing on opposing teams? Is that supposed to make the Pro Bowl more interesting?

It doesn’t. It makes it more dangerous, but not more interesting.

Let’s take this to worse-case-scenario status. Suppose Charles not only suffers a concussion, but also tears a muscle. He has to miss six months. Or nine months. Of a year.

All because his own guy hit him in a Pro Bowl?

This is ludicrous and it must be stopped. Goodell nearly pulled the plug on this nonsense a couple of years ago, then relented and mandated that some changes to the game take place.

So this year, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders were named honorary coaches and participated in a draft of players. Which is why, in some cases, friends became foes. And why Johnson was in a place to hit Charles in the first place.

Incredibly, 11.7 million watched the Pro Bowl on Sunday, according to television ratings. Compared to last year’s Super Bowl, which drew 108.4 million viewers, that’s a drop in the bucket. Still, 11.7 million had nothing better to do than watch the Pro Bowl?

I don’t understand. I do not believe I have watched one play of a Pro Bowl in at least 10 years and probably more like 20 or 30. I’ll watch an NBA All-Star game over a Pro Bowl. I’ll watch an infomercial on chlorine before I’ll watch a Pro Bowl.

Do I have go give back my man card?

The NFL is the most popular sports league in the universe. It doesn’t need an All-Star game to appease its fan base. Or its players, who would be happy just to stay home even if it means not getting an expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

Make this game stop. No more. Keep Jamaal Charles out of harm’s way because apparently Derrick Johnson isn’t bright enough to play nice.