The poor, poor Pro Bowl. The red-headed stepchild of the Super Bowl is always a tough sell for audiences. It can be an even tougher sell for NFL stars who don’t see much of a point in risking their careers in a post-season exhibition game. Case in point, the fact that only one of the six quarterbacks originally-chosen to play in the 2016 Pro Bowl is still scheduled to participate.
In their place will be Eli Manning, Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Tyrod Taylor, all of whom had fine seasons but not all of them had the kind of seasons that merited initial consideration for the honor.
Of course, this is nothing new for the NFL’s all-star game. Four of the six original picks didn’t participate in 2015 while three missed out on the 2014 game. You’d have to go back to the 2012 game to find the last time a majority of the originally-chosen quarterbacks participated (four of six).
There are certainly legitimate reasons for players to the Pro Bowl. Often times players are resting due to injuries. Quarterbacks who play in the Super Bowl usually don’t really want to transition from that to a game on this level. In the case of Tom Brady, he may just not want to do the NFL any favors. But often times it’s just a case of a player not wanting to participate and, well, can you blame them?
Whoever’s left standing will play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 31, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In a few years when the new Rams’ Inglewood stadium starts hosting Pro Bowls, perhaps that will make a little bit of difference in getting players to attend. Then again, maybe not.