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Goodell: NFL could drop Pro Bowl

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:13 a.m. HST, Oct 23, 2012

NEW YORK » The NFL will consider dropping the Pro Bowl if the level of play doesn't improve, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday night.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio's "Town Hall," Goodell agreed with host Michael Strahan that last January's Pro Bowl "was embarrassing."

"If we cannot accomplish that kind of standard (of high play), I am inclined to not play it," Goodell said. "It is really tough to force competition, and after a long season, to ask those guys to go out and play at the same level they played is really tough."

The league still would select a Pro Bowl team through voting by players, coaches and fans, because it is an honor, but "just not play the game," he said.

The Pro Bowl will take place in January, a week before the Super Bowl, after the players lobbied to keep it, promising to upgrade their performances. Goodell and others were disappointed in the quality of last year's Pro Bowl, won 59-41 by the AFC and missing any semblance of hard hitting.

More from Goodell:

— The league is working on scheduling more East Coast games involving West Coast teams in late-afternoon slots to avoid what amounts to a 10 a.m. kickoff for the western teams.

"Several of our teams on the West Coast have raised that and we have been studying it," he said. "We have tried to put as many of those games on the East Coast at 4 p.m. You can imagine the thousands of different issues you have to put into the schedule. But the 10 o'clock starts are pretty tough."

— He praised teams for making it possible for fans to text concerns about unruly behavior to stadium security.

"Allowing you to text to security personnel rather than having to get an usher, that is a plus to fans," said Goodell, who recently sat with his family in the stands at a Titans-Vikings game in Minneapolis. "The arrests are down and ejections are up. Our teams are ejecting fans who are unruly. And arrests (being) down is an indication that fans are getting the message."

— Explained the NFL's studies of potential developmental leagues for players and officials. He said if the schedule format ever drops two preseason games, there will be more discussions on the subject because teams will have a more difficult time determining the makeup of rosters.

He added the NFL is looking for more ways to train on-field officials and for them to have interaction with players, citing college football, Arena Football and the CFL as places that could happen.

Going to an 18-game regular season with two exhibition games remains a point of contention with the players' union. But Goodell admitted to having "an issue with the preseason."

"Our fans don't like watching the preseason games, attending the preseason games, so we have to evaluate the season format," he said, "and that is one way of looking at it: 18-2. Or go to 16-2 or some other alternative; take two of those (preseason) games and make them more developmental."

— Said three regular-season games abroad is not out of the realm of possibility. Next year, for the first time, the league will play two games in London.

As for a franchise abroad, he added: "I wouldn't at all be surprised some day to see us have a team in London."

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kainalu wrote:
It's not about the "level of play", Commadant Goodell. It's about the NFL experience for a people and locale that doesn't have a real opportunity to experience it otherwise. Essentially dead and buried, Honolulu RESCUED the Pro Bowl. Otherwise, the game is still a sellout and television still grabs it's fair share of viewers. What's the problem? How's about giving back to Honolulu, eh?
on October 23,2012 | 07:17AM
kennie1933 wrote:
I agree, but I think part of the problem this past January was....US! Remember early on in the game when guys were just sort of bumping each other instead of tackling, and fans started booing? Then, the level of intesity sort of improved, but I think that booing is what made officials believe that we didn't like that level of play. Not sure if the "fans" were local, from the mainland, or a mix, but there was definitely loud booing, and that doesn't look good on TV. For the NFL, looking good on TV is everything.
on October 23,2012 | 08:12AM
allie wrote:
agree...poor play compromises the products
on October 23,2012 | 09:49AM
loquaciousone wrote:
How about picking the teams and have them play Chinese checkers instead. At the rate the Chinese are buying our debt, 1.7 trillion and counting, we all better learn more Chinese.
on October 23,2012 | 07:31AM
FrankieT wrote:
Now that is a stupid comment
on October 23,2012 | 09:32AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I know I know. The Taliban finally woke up. You think everyone who doesn't agree with you is stupid -- just like extremist Muslims. Having got that off my chest, are you saying that the Chinese don't own 1.7 trillion dollars in US debts?
on October 23,2012 | 09:42AM
jaluasa wrote:
And how does this relate to the Pro Bowl?
on October 23,2012 | 10:07AM
loquaciousone wrote:
What Pro Bowl? That farce they hold at Aloha Stadium only resembles a football game because of the uniforms they wear.
on October 23,2012 | 10:38AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
I'd be happier if they replaced the Pro Bowl with a game between the runner ups the week before the big game. A Super Bowl Jr. as it were. We would regret that the Aloha Stadium only had 50,000 seats because it will be standing room only and tickets would be hard to come by. Many times I believe this SBJ would be a better game than the Super Bowl itself.
on October 23,2012 | 08:08AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Remember a LONG time ago (dating myself) there was a game featuring NFL vs. College all-stars? I would watch THAT, but nowadays with all the big money floating around, it would never happen. No one wants to risk getting hurt, and for the college players, risk their potential multi-million dollar contracts.
on October 23,2012 | 08:30AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Since the Pro Bowl has evolved into a variety comedy show, why not have Drew Brees and Tom Brady play dueling banjos and the Peyton brothers challenge each other in a hot dog eating contest.
on October 23,2012 | 08:20AM
dlum003 wrote:
Good(ell) riddance Pro Bowl! I don't know what all the fuss is about the game being anywhere near competitive. Only beer fans go to the game, not football fans. The Pro Bowl has become one sloppy drunken mess of idioitic bufoonery, over the top commericalism, and everybody-look-at-me narcissism. Everything BUT football. Its also a shameless money grab by the state and the NFL. Last time it was an actual game was 1990, the last time I went. I for one am hoping Roger pulls the trigger! Much rather have the Hula Bowl back so I can scout pro prospects without some inebriated goon spilling beer down my back.
on October 23,2012 | 08:25AM
allie wrote:
yup..gross city
on October 23,2012 | 09:49AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Sadly though, even college all-star games are starting to be like the pro-bowl. Many BIG name stars opt out for fear of getting hurt, especially if they already have pro feelers telling them they are going in the first or second round. They are still good games because those third and fourth round projections want to improve their lot, but the really big stars often find excuses not to play.
on October 23,2012 | 10:04AM
Ronin006 wrote:
The problem is the Pro Bowl is held one week before the Super Bowl, which prevents participation by top players from the SB teams. The NFL needs to go back to the former system of scheduling the Pro Bowl two weeks after the SB to allow participation by the best from all teams.
on October 23,2012 | 08:25AM
loquaciousone wrote:
You're making too much sense. We have to think like the rich high mucka mucks and try to soak as money as they can from fans while giving the least amount of bang for our bucks.
on October 23,2012 | 08:47AM
hilopango wrote:
Totally agree with you. The players do not have to fear getting hurt before the Super Bowl that way, and we get a better quality of play for the Pro Bowl.
on October 23,2012 | 10:27AM
false wrote:
The pro booool is just for entertainment, not for actual hard hitting football. Anyone who expects a real game is a complete moron. For a real game, go see the Arcadia all stars vs the Craigside all stars. Lunch included.
on October 23,2012 | 08:40AM
false wrote:
The pro boooool is just for entertainment, not for hard hitting football. Anyone who pays big bucks and expects otherwise is out of his mind. For real thrills, go see the Arcadia all stars vs the Craigside all stars. Lunch included.
on October 23,2012 | 08:45AM
ready2go wrote:
I agree with Ronin006's comment about the current NFL - Pro Bowl policy of hosting this game prior to the Super Bowl which eliminates showcasing the "Pros" from each of the SB teams from playing in Honolulu. I've supported the Pro Bowl ever since Gov Ariyoshi brought the game to Hawaii but with this game now being played without players from the Super Bowl teams, it's not the same. Our Hawaii football fans are already losing interest in this game.
on October 23,2012 | 08:45AM
BigOpu wrote:
Make an All-Pro MMA Slam. AFC vs NFC by positions. Linemen vs Linemen, QB's vs QB's, DB's vs Recievers, Cheerleaders vs Cheerleaders (mud wrestling of course). Charge big $$ on pay for view. I would watch that....nah, I wouldn't...well maybe the mud wrestling. hahahaha. The Pro Bowl is a waste.
on October 23,2012 | 08:49AM
Anonymous wrote:
Create incentives for winning the game. For example, play for some sort of trophy. Call it the Pro Bowl Cup and have the players of the winning team invited to the White House along with the Super Bowl champions. Or, give $100,000 to players of the winning team and nothing to the losers. Or, the winning conference gets to host the next (or next after next) Super Bowl--the way baseball now uses its All-Star game. Otherwise, stop pretending it's real football. Be honest and play it by Flag Football rules.
on October 23,2012 | 09:40AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
The winning team's all star bonus is twice that of the losing team. i think it may be a $50k/$25k split. These guys make so much money, that the bonus usually covers travel costs for their families. As for hosting the Super Bowl, the site is chosen years in advance. I'd imagine the logistics of preparing a city to host a Super Bowl require longer than a year.
on October 23,2012 | 10:54AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Does anyone else find it hypocritical that Goodell acknowledges the reason for poor level of play at the Pro Bowl is the length of football season, yet he wants to add two more regular season games? I'm not suggesting that regular season and All Star games are played at the same intensity, but if he thinks the product is poor now, how bad is it going to look when your regular season is 14% longer.
on October 23,2012 | 10:50AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Have a game worth something. Take the 2 worst teams and have them play for who gets the first draft pick.
on October 23,2012 | 11:30AM
ya_think wrote:
Easy fix, winner take all!
on October 23,2012 | 12:14PM
bornandraised1 wrote:
Play the Pro Bowl preseason based on the season before's voting. It's not like the players arent being payed well. More so it's lack of energy and value at the end of the season.
on October 23,2012 | 02:32PM
hapaguy wrote:
The Pro Bowl is a joke. We shouldn't spend a dime of our money to subsidize the Pro Bowl to play here. A preseason NFL game maybe.....but not the Pro Bowl!
on October 23,2012 | 03:27PM
kennie1933 wrote:
That's a great idea. If it wasn't such a big rivalry in the bay area, the perfect game might be the 49ers vs. the Raiders. We seem to have lots of fans of both those teams here, at least what I can see on car bumper stickers.
on October 23,2012 | 05:01PM
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