The Sunday between NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl would be the saddest Sunday of the year if not for the Pro Bowl. Well, maybe that’s an overstatement, but, even though the game and the events surrounding the Pro Bowl have gotten more circus-like in nature, it at least gives football fans a placeholder before the big game.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apparently came pretty close to putting the kibosh on the pre-Super Bowl fun, according to NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth.
“Roger was very serious about potentially canceling the Pro Bowl because apparently it’s very expensive and isn’t of a ton of value to them,” Foxworth said, via USA Today. “To be honest with you, I was completely comfortable with eliminating it until I talked to the players, and they said they loved it and they want to be there.”
Goodell mentioned the possibility of eliminating the Pro Bowl in 2013, after the game lacked effort from the players. So, the league implemented a few changes to the game and the process that will be in action Sunday night.
One change that players weren’t too thrilled about was the draft process. Not that they disliked the idea of a draft for the game, but concerns arose about potentially going against teammates, since the teams aren’t split by conferences.
“That’s the only legitimate concern, and I completely understand it,” Foxworth said. “I was faced with the possibility of canceling the game or trying to make it interesting. If some of these conflicts that we create make it so we can’t go forward, then we’ll throw the game out.”