This is one of the most exciting weeks of the year for fans who follow football, which seems to be just about everybody in America.
For the first time since 1959 the National Football League all-star game, The Pro Bowl, will take place before the championship game.
I saw an interesting piece by Pat Kirwin on NFL.com today in which he said, basically, let’s give this Pro Bowl game a chance.
Here, here, Pat. That statement not only is fair but is the only one that could be accurate for the simple reason that no one knows what is going to happen in a live event that is not rehearsed.
It is so popular for the press to trash the game, and along the way they purport to us that this is the view of the entire country, when in fact television ratings (here I go again) for the last decade have steadily had the Pro Bowl as one of the most popular TV sporting events.
In fact, given that NFL football is by far the most popular event on television, even if you allow that the Pro Bowl is less dramatic than regular season games, which of course is so, then let’s eliminate all NFL games and compare the Pro Bowl to “all others.”
An embarrassing television ratings defeat for virtually all of “all others.”
This week has already featured the Senior Bowl, highlighting many NFL stars of the future.
Tomorrow the Pro Bowl will take place, featuring many of the top 100 players currently in the game.
The next week you can barely count the story lines as the Colts go for their second world championship, led by Peyton Manning going against the former team of his legendary father, Archie Manning, with the New Orleans Saints making their first ever Super Bowl appearance.
It is a glut of football excitement for the true fan. And as a special item of interest for Denver Broncos fans, next Saturday’s vote by the Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors includes voting on two Broncos, running back Floyd Little and tight end Shannon Sharpe.
Both are clear cut Hall of Famers and here’s hoping both get their due next week.
The announcement, with the ballots counted secretly and announced to a live national television audience, will be must-see TV for Bronco fans Saturday afternoon
So my message for true fans is to tune out the naysayers.
Tune in for yourself.
It’s going to be a great week in South Florida.
I am fortunate enough to have been invited as part of the NFL public relations staff again this year (I have worked on the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl every year since Super Bowl XVIII), and it is great to have a first hand view of the proceedings.
Chris Hall and Gray Caldwell of DenverBroncos.com have done a great job all week chronicling the Pro Bowl practices, and if you have been reading them they have put you front and center on the practices sessions down here.
Time to settle into that favorite chair, grab some munchies and watch three major NFL events in the next eight days.