|NFL Sticks with Pro Bowl, Game to Be More Competitive|
Thursday, 31 May 2012 12:02
The NFL have announced that the Pro Bowl, the All-Star game, will continue for 2013 with a promise that it will be more competitive.
The Hawaii-based game was uncertain as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had said earlier this year that scrapping the exhibition was a possibility after the 2012 edition drew criticism for a lack of intensity and many players opting out.
"We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards," said Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations."We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season's game."
Unlike other North American sports which play their All-Star games mid-season, the NFL's showpiece is held at the end of the regular season, a week before the Super Bowl.While being selected for the game is one of the top honours in the NFL, participation is voluntary and the event is often a low-quality affair as players do not want to be injured heading into the offseason, and so they have no incentive to play hard.
Played almost exclusively in Hawaii for the last three decades, the game has been criticised as amounting to little more than an exhibition with many players accused of using the time as an extended holiday.
"The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition," said NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth."We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honoured for their achievements on the field."
However the NFL nor NFLPA gave an explanation of how they planned to make the game more competitive. The game is scheduled to take place on January 27 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.