Tonight the NFL’s “best of the best” will suit up to partake in the 2015 Pro Bowl in Arizona (the home of this year’s Super Bowl). A die hard football fan like myself will be watching the Pro Bowl while I do homework and study for this week’s upcoming tests. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for most other football fans. The Pro Bowl—which seems like a great idea on paper—does not draw out the excitement from viewers that the NFL hopes it would. While everyone pitches their idea to fix it, I figured I would put in my two cents also.
As a huge hockey fan my idea utilizes a lot of what the NHL does during its All-Star break (which is currently happening) with a little twist. In the NHL All-Star week the players partake in small skills competitions. (Speed, Accuracy, Hardest Shot, etc…) By utilizing this aspect and introducing it into the NFL they can create the Pro-Bowl Week. This would stretch the Pro-Bowl out to a 3-5 day event in which the first part consists of players partaking in competitions to see who is the best. Some examples of these competitions would be Accuracy Challenges for QBs and Bench Pressing for linemen.
I know this sounds like some glorified Combine for pro-athletes, but there is a very major twist. As viewers we can openly bet on who we think will win each challenge through the NFL. (There would be a cap so the gambling hungry viewers such as myself cannot go insane.) If I wanted to put $5 on Andrew Luck winning the Accuracy Challenge then I would do it legally through the NFL. Any money the NFL wins would be donated to charity and if the viewer wins they have made a small profit. The money aspect brings on two major aspects: great PR because donations to local charities are involved and NFL to viewer interaction. Those who bet on these challenges will have some reason to root for a certain player to pull through, and at the end of the day if they lose their money goes to charity. At the end of the week the players would partake in a Pro Bowl game which would hold the same gambling rules as the challenges.
This will help the NFL bring in more viewers to their struggling Pro Bowl game. It will also introduce legal gambling into a major sport on a very small level (the NFL would not profit off of the bets; it would all go to charity). Many of these players do not go all out during the Pro Bowl game because they do not want to get hurt. These challenges will allow these players to put in max effort and still lower their risk of injury (no contact in the challenges).