Apparently all has not gone well with the NFL's plan to schedule the Pro Bowl on the Sunday before the Super Bowl in the same city as the Super Bowl...mainly that several of the players who are likely to be in it have no interest in going if it's not in Hawaii.
Next year's Pro Bowl will be played in Miami a week before the Super Bowl. The location after that remains uncertain.
One thing is clear, many of the NFL's top stars are unsure about the Pro Bowl being shipped to the mainland.
"I just think you take away from everything the Pro Bowl means," Lewis said Tuesday. "I don't understand it all."
The Baltimore Ravens linebacker, who played college football at the University of Miami, said he would "probably not" play next year's game if selected.
Lewis, making his 10th Pro Bowl trip, said many players live or visit Florida often, so playing there wouldn't necessarily be a reward.
"That's no vacation," he said. "That's what we regularly do. You don't want to go to the Pro Bowl and do what you regularly do. You want to come over and do something different. You want to tour the islands and bring the kids over here to see something different."
I'm not only going to agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Lewis' sentiment but I'm also going to go off on a rant here and say that the NFL's idea of making the Pro Bowl relevant is one of the dumbest ideas ever in the history of pro sports. Know why? Because the Pro Bowl is an exhibition game no matter where or when they schedule it and nobody gives a damn about exhibition games in the NFL...nor should they. They're pointless. They don't determine homefield advantage in the Super Bowl, the players make peanuts to show up, and most of the time the players don't care enough to put out an effort on the field. At least with preseason games, you've got guys busting their asses because they're trying to get a spot on the roster. With the Pro Bowl you've got a bunch of guys showing up to shake hands, kick back in Hawaii with the family, and half-ass through a game where the number one rule is "Don't get hurt and screw up your career." In terms of suspense, for me watching the Pro Bowl ranks somewhere below this.
The only upside to the NFL moving the game is that it gives the idiot NFL crew on ESPN something else to bloviate about for a week other than what supermodel Tom Brady happens to currently be banging and how that might affect his pass on out routes. And while I'm all for hearing something other than the two weeks of uninterrupted white noise we get now, I can definitely understand if it's too pointless and stupid for the Pro Bowl players to even want to bother with. And if players like Ray Lewis aren't going to be there, then there's really no point for any of us to be watching it...pretty much like there's no point in us tuning into anything that goes on in the week before the Super Bowl now.