bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: The NFL is considering dropping the Pro Bowl

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Have you ever watched an all-star game and thought it had been time well spent? At least in the major sports, those games are usually pretty awful, if not completely unwatchable. Baseball probably has the best one, as the game usually involves pretty full effort on the part of the participants. Sure, catchers are unlikely to block the plate and risk injury, especially after the Pete Rose-Ray Fosse incident in the 1970 MLB All-Star game, but the hitters try, the pitchers try, and the fielders try. The worst thing about baseball’s game is that the commissioner decided to make the game count for something a few years back, and now the league that wins gets home field advantage in the World Series. That was a horrible decision and needs to be changed. Still, the game is usually a gem compared to the defense-less circuses put on by the NHL and the NBA. The scoring in those games rarely resembles that of a real game, as no one shows any interest in playing defense at all. Amazingly, even those games look like must-see TV when compared to the crapfest that is the NFL Pro Bowl.

This week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made comments suggesting that the league was considering doing away with the Pro Bowl entirely. If you watched this year’s game back in January, you’ll know why. For years, this game has been different from the other leagues’ all-star games, as it happened after the season had ended and a champion had been crowned, while the others all occurred around mid-season. With the risk of injury so much greater in football, it made sense to not have the game at a time when an injury could debilitate a team. Still, playing the game the week after the Super Bowl was the ultimate anti-climax, and few people cared or bothered to watch. A couple of years ago, in an effort to jolt some life into the game, the NFL moved it to the week before the Super Bowl. No luck. It was still far less than exhilarating. The 2012 edition, though, was the worst of all. No one seemed to put forth any effort whatsoever, and the game was an absolute joke. So much so, I guess, that the league is seriously contemplating simply not having the game. Sounds like a great idea to me. What’s the point, really? I imagine they will still name a Pro Bowl team, or something like one, as the real interest in that kind of thing lies in who makes it, not in the game itself. I play in a computer-simulation keeper league (don’t ask), and the Pro Bowl roster plays a significant part in the player ratings for each season. I wouldn’t want to lose that, but I am glad to sacrifice the actual event.

Exhibition games before the season are a chance to get your interest revved up for the return of the sport. Exhibition games during the season are a chance to change the channel. Once you get to the ones after the season, there is just no reason for it. Baseball, hockey, and basketball can all keep their games, I suppose. Baseball needs to change the home-field rule, and hockey and basketball need to find ways to get people to play at both ends of the ice/court. The skills competitions at these events are far more interesting than the games themselves, actually.  Maybe football can do something like that, and just leave the game out.

Good sports, continued:

2) Rafael Nadal became the first tennis player to ever win two different events seven times each on Sunday, beating David Ferrer to take the Barcelona Open. Monte Carlo is the site of his other seven-plus win tournament.

3) The Oakland Raiders decided that they will be donating ten percent of every season-ticket package sold in May and June of this year to the Oakland public school system.

Bad sports:

1) An Israeli basketball team has hired former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine as a consultant. I know that charges have not yet been filed related to the accusations that Fine sexually molested two former ball boys, and the man has a right to make a living, but I don’t think I would want to be the team that hired this guy while that investigation is ongoing.

2) Some racist idiots tweeted slurs at Joel Ward, a forward for the Washington Capitals, after Ward scored in overtime to send the Boston Bruins home for the season on Wednesday. Revolting.

3) Not long after being suspended for half of the next NFL season for his part in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, it was revealed that team GM Mickey Loomis is being investigated for allegedly having a device in his box at the Superdome that would allow him to eavesdrop on opposing coaches during the 2002, 2003, and 2004 seasons. Aside from punishment by the league, Loomis could be charged with federal crimes for this.

4) Delmon Young, who plays left field for the Detroit Tigers, was charged with something called “hate crime harassment” for a fight that he was in on Friday at the team hotel in New York. Young is accused of yelling some kind of anti-semitic comments at the person with whom he was having the confrontation.

5) The Chicago Bulls’ chances of getting to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season seemed to go down the tubes on Saturday, as star player Derrick Rose tore his ACL as the team’s game was ending against the Philadelphia 76ers to open their first round playoff series.

6) Rajon Rondo, point guard for the Boston Celtics, was ejected from the team’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of their first-round playoff series on Sunday. Rondo was given two technical fouls, earning him the automatic ejection, after he vehemently complained about a call and then appeared to bump into a referee.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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