Thursday, April 26, 2012 marks the day that the NFL Draft will begin and the first round players will learn their new teams. Sadly, this may be the last draft class that ever gets to play in the league’s annual Pro Bowl game because chances are it will no longer exist after 2013.
ESPN is reporting that league sources are stating the game itself is likely to be suspended this season and beyond. The next Pro Bowl is scheduled the week before the Super Bowl which will be played on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans.
The game has long become a showcase for players that don’t really seem to care about it, and not for pitting the best against the best as intended. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly voiced his displeasure with such a case and has spoken with the NFLPA about suspending this year’s game.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello responding to ESPN’s report on Thursday with a message to The Associated Press:
“no determination has been made yet about this season’s game.”
Reports say that even if the game is no longer played, Pro Bowl balloting will still happen in order to determine the league’s top players. Players voted as Pro Bowlers will likely be honored in some way during Super Bowl week.
Goodell has asked players and team personnel for suggestions on how to make the game more attractive to players. Nothing was ever decided upon.
After the AFC defeated the NFC 59-41 in the most recent Pro Bowl, boos poured down from those in attendance at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers even stated that the effort of some of his NFC teammates “embarrassed themselves.”
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