Ebs’ Hot Takes: How to Fix the Pro Bowl and More

Clifton Park, NY – I wanted to use my column this week as an opportunity to make my Super Bowl prediction, PB Logoand I’ll get to that… but I feel like there’s a more pressing topic in the NFL to discuss right now: the Pro Bowl.

Did anybody else sit down and watch the entire Pro Bowl on Sunday? No? Well, you didn’t miss much.

The first half wasn’t that aggressive and nobody tackled in the final 30 minutes as the game got out of hand. Don’t get me wrong, there were some pleasantries with this exhibition game.

It was cool to see guys play out of their positions, like Charles Woodson and Richard Sherman at wide receiver and Odell Beckham Jr. at safety.

I don’t have that much of a problem with the voting process. It’s not the fans fault that 30-plus players backed out. And Hawaii is the only place that should host the Pro Bowl. It makes the trip special for the players and it rewards the fans in Hawaii for waking up extra early to catch all of the 1 p.m. games here on the east coast.

PB2However, some changes need to be made.

Here are three easy ones:

Pay up. Too many players back out. One way to stop this from happening is to raise the prize money for the winning team. The NFL can certainly shell out a few extra million dollars if it influences the top players come to play. With more money at stake these games will be taken more seriously.

Move it after the Super Bowl. I understand why the Pro Bowl is the weekend before the championship. This way football is on our TVs for 21 straight weeks, not including the preseason, but if you push back the Pro Bowl two extra weeks you’ll have the Super Bowl reps playing and it gives an extra time to the players who are too injured to play at the original date.

Bring back the skills competition. Growing up, the skills competition was the best part of the Pro Bowl festivities. Seeing wide receivers go through a receiving gauntlet, the fastest man, the strongest man, the quarterbackPeyton accuracy challenge, the field goal competition. They were all great. It was an exciting event to watch.

Super Bowl Quick Hit: 

As much as I would love to see Peyton Manning finish his career with another Super Bowl ring, I just don’t see it happening. And honestly, I hope I’m wrong.

The Carolina Panthers are just too good of a team. To be able to dismantle the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals the way they did was astonishing.

In the end, the Panthers’ run game is going to be the difference.

CamBoth teams have legitimate defenses, best in their respective conferences, and the ability to hurt you in the air, but for me it comes down to the run game. Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton will end up being too much for the Broncos. Especially Newton. As well as CJ Anderson has ran as of late, the Broncos don’t have Newton under center. Even though he scampered for that first down, Manning isn’t a constant running threat like his counterpart is.

I’m excited to see Newton on this big stage on Sunday. I know he won’t falter in the bright lights because he didn’t in college, but I’m just excited to see what he brings to the table. Newton’s such a unique quarterback, and polarizing at that. He has the ability to go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game and it starts this weekend.

Come back tomorrow for our Cam Newton, Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson.


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About DJ Eberle 223 Articles
DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.