Pro Bowl Draft Makes Game Fun Again

For the second straight year, the NFL has used a pre-game draft to determine teams for players who were voted to play in the game. NFL Hall of Fame receivers, Michael Irvin and Chris Carter, were team captains and took turns drafting players to fill their rosters.

irvin and carter

Last year, another pair of NFL Hall of Famers, Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice, were the inaugural team captains with Team Rice winning 22-21 on a touchdown by Murray and a converted two-point conversion by Panthers’ fullback Mike Tolbert.

The draft started on Tuesday night and was not televised. Carter chose Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt and Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown as team captains. Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray and Browns’ cornerback Joe Haden were selected by captains by Irvin. In addition, each team chose  13 players that included three interior defensive lineman, three guards, two centers, one fullback, one punter, one kicker, one returner and one special teamer.

The real fun started Wednesday when Team Carter selected Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick of the televised draft. Irvin countered by selecting Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo who had arguably the best season of his career and led the league in quarterback rating.

Irvin demonstated his allegiance to the team he played for during his 11 year career by drafting every Cowboys’ player that made the Pro Bowl except for long snapper L.P. Ladouceur who was assigned to Team Carter. It should come as no surprise to learn that Jason Garrett will be coaching Irvin’s team.

Prior to last year, the Pro Bowl had become boring with players just going through the motions. Many thought it best to just cancel the game altogether.

However, Commissioner Roger Goodell was adamant about finding a new structure for the game to reinvigorate the Pro Bowl interest for players, coaches, and fans. Hence, the Pro Bowl draft was created.

Players are drafted to teams regardless of conference which means teammates can play against one another. Will Broncos’ corner Aquib Talib take it easy on teammates running back CJ Anderson and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders or will he lay down a hard hit like Chiefs’ linebacker Derrick Johnson performed last year on Chiefs’ teammate, running back Jamaal Charles?

Regardless of whether teammates tackle one another, the current Pro Bowl format is quite a refreshing change to the old format. For that reason, I will tune in Sunday night with a beer and enjoy the second last NFL game of the season before the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots play for the right to be deemed Super Bowl champion. Let’s hope all the footballs are pumped up to their proper weight!

And that’s…as I see it.

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