Combining Pro & Senior Bowls a Zany, Exciting Idea

Combining Pro & Senior Bowls a Zany, Exciting Idea

I used to make an argument that fans would prefer to see media members, former players and coaches debate the selections for the Pro Bowl than watch the Pro Bowl itself. But since the Pro Bowl has outperformed the World Series in the ratings for the second consecutive year, I'll admit I may have been wrong. There is an undeniable fact about the yearly game in Hawaii that does not receive much media attention: people watch it. A lot of people watch it.

This week I had an idea. Is it a bizarre idea? Yes. It is an unlikely idea to ever be adopted by the NFL? Without question. But would it make for one hell of an interesting football Sunday? I think so.

I would combine the Senior Bowl and the Pro Bowl. Here are a bunch of thoughts on the subject, including identifying some definitive pratfalls.

  • Pro Bowl selections would no longer be divided into separate conferences. This isn't baseball. There are not different rules and there's no reason for 6-8 corners to be selected to an all-star event. It would elevate the Pro Bowl's status to that of an All Pro team.
  • Since most of the actual Senior Bowl evaluations take place during practice sessions, the structure of those practice sessions would remain the same. College players won't be judged unfairly by how they fare against professionals.
  • On the Sunday before the Super Bowl the Senior Bowl team would play the Pro Bowl team. How much fun would it be to see the best senior defensive end battle Ryan Clady? How much fun would it be see Ryan Glennon attempt to complete passes on Charles Tillman? Wouldn't we know more about Eric Fisher after watching him battle with Julius Peppers? Would the Senior Bowl side have a shot to win the game? No! But one or two of those players would stand out in the contest and think about how much money they could make.
  • Wouldn't this add intensity to the proceedings? Wouldn't the Senior Bowl players do everything in their power to impress not only the sideline scouts but also the players opposite them? Wouldn't the professional players go out onto the field with the ambition of showing these kids what they're about to encounter?
  • I would not be opposed to allowing non-seniors into the game. If a player declares early for the NFL Draft they should be allowed to participate in the game if they are deemed worthy. But the folks selecting the Senior Bowl team must be as rigid and meticulous as the Pro Bowl selection squad. It must be the the best of college football.

Is this idea silly? Sure. But it's Super Bowl week. I'm allowed. And I can unabashedly say there is no chance in hell I would miss this game were they to actually play it.

(I say you help me in the comments and we'll form this into a more coherent concept.)


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  • First to say Jeff had an epic wake and bake this morning. Only hours of gravity bongs can lead to this idea.

  • Interesting.

    I think it 100% depends on whether the scouts feel like the NCAA players playing against the pros would provide a better indicator of future success or a more muddled one (and I really don't know if it would or it wouldn't).

  • In reply to thebigcheese:

    I feel like the senior bowl influences a lot of players' draft stock and is important in that respect. So if replacing the game with 60 minutes versus the pros takes away from that, they wouldn't even entertain the idea. But if, combined with the senior bowl practices, they felt like the added dynamic of playing with the NF'Ls best gave them even more information, then they might not think the idea is as crazy as it sounds.

  • In reply to thebigcheese:

    you think rodgers is gonna have a big game this sunday?

  • In reply to evantonio:

    He's played pretty well in Super Bowls, so yes.

  • In reply to evantonio:

    who. fucking. cares.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    red forman, for one.

  • In reply to evantonio:

    Abe Froman? Sausage King of Chicago?

  • This was actually something they kind of used to do, but it was a preseason game between the previous year's NFL champs and a college all-star team. I went to it as a kid and it was a big deal.

    College All-Star Football Classic

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Jimmy... for god sake's man... focus on the code... on the cooooooooodddddde!

    ...and thanks for sharing. Not a bad idea either.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Chief Gnome from the Tribe of Bugs is right; this used to happen. I had a book as a kid with pictures from the games my dad gave me.

    Problem is now - liability issues in the age of the court. What happens when Von Miller destroys Johnny Football on the blitz and breaks the guy's leg? I'll tell you what: they stop the game and call it a stupid idea.

    It's a nice idea - never happen.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    it's an interesting comment on how the game/players have 'progressed'.

    So there's a question... why/how have players become so much bigger/faster/stronger? Is it just the progression of selection (can't call it natural selection here) that as the HS, college, NFL keeps selecting the best of the best players are just bound to have to be B/S/F because those are the kids who make it through the ranks... or is it because of the wonders of modern medicine and science 'aiding' these guys in getting B/S/F.... or both?

  • I thought about the injury concern but doesn't that same concern exist in the current Senior Bowl?

  • In reply to Jeff Hughes:

    Jeff your picture makes you look like you own a big white van with no windows. Sign on the side that reads "Free Candy"

  • Is John Candy in jail? I thought he was dead.

  • And yeah Jimmy, I was kinda thinking of the Chicago Charities game as the model.

    And to BigCheese, wouldn't incorporating the Pro Bowl players INTO those practices make the practices even more interesting to scouts?

  • here's something for all you Ray Ray supporters:

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Or this:

  • In reply to gpldan:

    haha...I saw that yesterday and laughed my ass off.

    At least Ray Ray has a sense of humor, which is easy to have when you're not getting butt-rammed in prison for the next 40 years.

  • me neither kristin, me neither:

    do you think she knows Jay’s brain is already scrambled? Although, one has to wonder how different the impact of pro ball is from reality TV.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    She probably caught sight of Jimmy Mac with boogers hanging out of his nose walking into a plate glass door and said "uh oh"

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I think cutty's going to be worse man. Damage has already been done. I think his brain probably looks like a ham-hash skillet scrambler with peppers and cheese.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    No so sure. Jimmy Mac used to headbutt his offensive lineman after touchdowns. That adds up to a lot of head smashing.

  • In reply to Brotop:


    so why brotop now corm?

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    It's the cool name of an asshole I went to high school with. Him and his Devil's Disciple buddies jumped me a few times. Of course, only when they had 3 or 4 to 1 odds.

  • In reply to Brotop:

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I would love to know how you and the rest of the blog regs that played the game feel about this. I am nearing a crossroads with my son and need to decide which side of the fence I stand on.
    1.) How many of you played and would let your son play?
    2.) How many of you played and think it did actual harm or have seen old team mates that it harmed?

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Point of the question being "Does High School football do more harm than good?" My suspicion is that the real damage is done in college ball and way more so in pro ball.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Johnny... this is something that's been more and more on my mind as I see the beast my son will grow into. The docs think he’ll be 6’1”-6’2”, and if he gets my build and follows my path, he should end up in the 220-240 range at that height.

    I played in jr high, high school (started all 3 years), plus 3 years in college (many injuries). I was a hitter. Prided myself on being the hardest hitter on my HS team. Even hit like crazy every day in linebacker drills. Was my only real hallmark when I moved to DB in college (cause I wasn't fast enough and kinda sucked in coverage), badass run support was my gig. I lead with my helmet... a LOT. Every game one of my goals was to knock a guy the fuck out.

    HS football was the best time in my life. The most fun, the most intense, the most friend solidifying experience I've had. I've always thought it was as close to war as you can get for making friends and making a man out of you… all the pain, fear, elation, work, discipline, etc… etc… my best friends in the world still today were ALL made on the football fields… in two a day hell… being in the trenches literally fighting for your life (felt like) and victory against other men. It is truly the sport of kings and I feel blessed to have been able to play it.

    That all said, if I have my choice and the technology hasn’t progressed by the time he's ready, I will ask that he not play. It will ultimately be his choice once he gets to 10th - 11th grade, but he will most certainly know the risks insideout beforehand. I will require that he read all the reports on CTE and its after effects… and will probably take him to meet some ex-players with CTE before he’s allowed to play a single down.

    Makes me sad because it’s a beautiful game, and if your son is a leader of men, football is THE best thing to help him nurture that ability at that age (maths club... not so much. Sorry doc). It’s also a way for an alpha male to express and channel his aggressions/dominance in a positive, constructive way.

    My $.02.

    (and I def think it starts, or can start, in HS not just college and the pros)

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Thanks MB. My kid has already played 4 seasons of youth tackle plus two seasons of flag before that. That and Lacrosse are all he thinks about. He's not gifted enough athletically to play in college. But he's good enough to start at linebacker or fullback for sure. He's done both. We talked last summer about CTE and he decided for himself not to play in seventh grade. By the end of the first week of practice he was regretting his decision more than I imagined he could. I didn't let him join late. Life lesson. Now he wants it more than ever. I don't want to take away something so important to him for all of the things you listed above. He loves it and he's good at it. At the same time, how much harm am I allowing him to do to himself? I didn't play, but many of my friends did and none of them seems to be suffering from CTE. This is a very tough call.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Alot of head butting goes on in math club.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Must be the new maths they're teaching.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    it was a typo johnny... he meant to type, "buttheading"

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    I played a little ball. I was a running back and never got officially concussed. But I did leave the field with headaches on occasion and even saw two goal posts after one touchdown I scored. The studies seem to indicate that it's not so much the big violent blows, but all the repetitive little blows, made worse when in close approximation to one another. Made even worse if it happens to a young developing brain.

    So after all these studies came out, I was against my boys eventually playing football. But as time has gone on, I think I've changed my stance. I think you could make the case that things like skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking are all inherently more dangerous, all things that I enjoyed. My body still suffers from those sports. So if I say no to football, where does it end? Hell, even driving in a car is (I'm guessing) more statistically dangerous than playing football (minor injuries not included). And football does so much for you, as MB explained. It makes you reach down deeper than you knew you could. So I think I'll let my kids take their chances (not until at least 13 years old though, no pop warner shit).

    The wife and I took the kids to play some 2 on 2 tackle football in the rain and mud the other day. My 4 year old is notoriously fearless. So my 7 year old has the ball and is running in my back pocket as I clear the way for him. My 4 year old runs into me full fucking speed. I saw him coming and intended to just kind of make him fall to the ground. The kid runs into me so hard that he bounces off me like if I were to run full speed into Ray Lewis. I see that his body is whiplashing his head to the ground as he flies backward and manage to reach behind me and keep his head from exploding off the ground. But man, if he plays football the way I think he'll play football, I may have to rethink my philosophy. Sometimes, I'll see him lowering his head and using it as a battering ram for his brother. Surely, this can't be safe. So I've tried breaking him of this habit. I fear for him and his opponents when he does play. I think he'll be big too. He already eats two hamburgers and he's not fat in the slightest.

    I guess my point is, some of the best most character shaping moments in life happen during dangerous activities. It's the very danger of it that makes one have to reach down deep. It would be sad if my boys close their golden years with mental issues due to CTE, but if those activities help them become better men, and more importantly, they love it, why should I stop them?

  • all good points doc. Maybe the little guy should wear a helmet around all day?

    Wait, then people might mistake him for a mormon... never mind.

    (I keeed, I keeeeeeed.)

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    I think it really depends Johnny. A lot of variables here.

    I played pee-wee football. I was about 11. Obviously this was before puberty, so no one was really their true size. As it turned out, I happened to be like an inch taller and maybe 5-10 pounds heavier than the avg runt, so they put me in as Oline. As weird as it might sound, there is probably less chance of concussions when hitting a guy about an inch from your facemask. Just can't get enough velocity going to knock someone out in such short quarters, at least not on a pop-warner level.

    However, lower body injuries are more likely because a lot of bodies are flying around at all angles, and your running back can just cut you off from the back, while some other dude hitting you from the side, and that's not good.

    But when it came to concussions, no olinemen that I remember suffered one on our team. So maybe concussions can depend on what position you play and what level you play.

    Now, fast forward to HS. A lot more concussions all around. When puberty hit, it didn't turn me into a 6'7 300 pound teen, but rather more in the mold of a WR/CB, which is what I played(as well as special teams). And I got to say, playing those positions even in HS is much more prone to concussions, ESP if you play sp teams. Most of the concussions actually came on SP teams.

    Luckily for me I didn't suffer any concussions, but a lot of that has to do with luck and the level of competition you're playing against. I didn't go to one of those power house Cali HS where they're border line college, so the guys weren't extremely fast, big or strong (though there usually was one or two college bound studs on every team), so I think that can be taken into account when assessing the risk of concussions too.

    I don't have a son, so I wouldn't presume to give you my opinion on whether you should let yours play, but that's just my personal experience.

    I agree with MB that the experience of playing organized football is something no other sport can reproduce (I also played baseball and basketball), and is something I think every kid should experience at least once. Now whether the kid should keep playing football every season for years is a question I can't really answer.

    But keep this in mind too. According to stats, soccer and other contact sports have concussions too. However, it's no doubt that baseball and basketball suffer a lot less concussions than football.

    In all the years I played baseball and basketball I don't think I ever witnessed someone getting concussed. Only way in baseball you can get concussed is by a fastball to the noggin, a baseball to the pitcher's head, or some sliding or wall collision, but I never saw it. Only way in basketball to get concussed is if someone gives you a Karl Malone elbow to the head or some freak fall (however, I must say, that my knees sometimes ache a little now because of Bball).

    Alright, I'm writing a manifesto now, so I'll stop. Hope this helps even a little

  • Thanks 4. I appreciate your insight.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    “There’s no game like football. It’s the type of sport that brings out the best in you. It kind of shows you who you are.”

    - John Harbaugh

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    I played 3 years in HS, 4 (technically 5) years in college. Sustained at least 3 concussions (all in practice), and sat out one day, total. And that was mainly because my coach was pissed at the poor quality of contact, and used me as an example.

    I have a 9 week old son whom I really think is gonna be a monster--he's in the 97th percentile for weight and length. I'm hoping by the time he's in high school, football will be a different game, because unless the head trauma is somehow fixed, he's never gonna play. Even if he's 6'7" 300 lbs, like I think he's gonna be.

    I don't know how much permanent dain bramage I sustained. Parts of my long-term memory are shit now, but I can't attribute that completely to football, because when I got malaria I cooked my brain (104 degree fevers).

    A buddy of mine from college absolutely did suffer permanent damage. He was concussed 3 games running, and had to quit the team because he developed vertigo. Lost touch with him, then a couple years back heard that he committed suicide because of the problems he was having. I chalk his dark ending up to him not taking care of himself and letting his brain get hurt worse and worse.

  • In reply to Johnnywad:

    Oh, couple other things:

    a) Even if football is made safer for head injuries, I wouldn't dream of letting my kids play until high school. Younger bodies are not made for full contact.

    b) I wrecked my ankle, knees, thumb, and likely laid the groundwork for my cervical disc problems (had to have a fusion like Pey-Pey, about the same time as Pey-Pey) in football. I'm regretting the damage done, but it was worth it. You don't get any points for leaving a corpse that's in good shape.

  • here's another for Irish. She's smoking. She was in the second bad boys wasn't she?

  • so let's recap:

  • oh my god... can it get any worse/funnier over there?

  • since I'm holding this bitch up right now and there's not much else to talk about... one more Manti piece:

  • you guys ready for the super bowl?

  • Would the NFL guys try any more than they do at the Pro Bowl? I don't think so.

    Everyone's just trying to get out of that thing with ACLs intact.

    So when you add in these puppies nipping at your heels, actually trying!? No way the NFL guys would go for that.

    They don't want to play a meaningless game against a bunch of guys who think it's not a meaningless game.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    Spot on Willie!

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I'd have written almost exactly that, so I'm glad I read first. In other words, I totally agree Willie.

  • It's an interesting idea, but it'll never happen.

    Probowlers just have no incentive to try hard in the probowl. I mean, 62 points - c'mon man. So the REAL question is how to motivate the Probowlers?

    MONEY. Throw massive amounts of money to the winning team. The winning team already gets a bit more, but if the NFL is serious they'd throw in a new car for EVERY Probowler on the winning side, plus straight cash homie. Just have a pile of cash on the sideline.

    DRAFT incentive. This might sound crazy, but maybe all the winning teams from either the AFC or the NFC should move up ONE draft spot.
    So since the NFC won, the Bears would go from #20 to #19. Maybe that will make Probowlers try a little hard for their team (especially since a lot of the Probowlers are team leaders).

    GUARANTEED CONTRACTS. This will only apply to Probowlers who get injured during the game. The NFL can put some extra cash aside, so if a player happens to tear an MCL, then the player should receive whatever salary they were going to earn from the "injury pool" and their contracts should be wiped off the salary cap books for the team.

    Example. Let's say Peppers got injured in the last Probowl. Well, the NFL would have to pay Peppers the $16M he was due to earn, and the Bears would be off the hook for that money, which means the Bears would have an extra $16M in salary cap to play with in FA.

    That financial security should alleviate some of the concerns both from the players and teams.

    Just my 2cents.

    An alternate is my "Scrub Bowl" proposal.

  • In reply to 4ever85 (O Canada!):

    great thoughts... here's another one...

    fucking kill the probowl.

    Bang! Bang!

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I'm all for that, as long as we replace it with the "Scrub Bowl".

    Wouldn't you want to watch Jamarcus Russell chuck it to T.O. while some Rough Rider hungry S tries to decapitate him cause he want's in on the NFL?

    Yes, please.

  • they should be mutually exclusive.

    Just get rid of the pro bowl now, it's SO bad. Then if you want to take money being thrown at you by sponsors come up with something better/actually interesting later.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    If it's "SO bad" then why did it have more views than the World Series?

  • baseball? Seriously Erik? Fucking baseball?!?!?

    I'd rather watch a dog eat a pile of baby poo than watch fucking baseball.

    Common maings.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    You asked for it.

  • In reply to Brotop:

    see... same thing as baseball.

  • Erik dekes the puck - he SCORES

    BAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Truck Horn sound)

  • Here's a prop bet, Jeff.

    Over/under on Ray Lewis using "God" or "Lord" in the the postgame interview set at 3.

    Hit up Vegas before the line moves.

    My advice, take the over.

  • Trivia:

    Last NFL team to LOSE to the college players in the orginal College All-Star Game?

    Yep! Your defending 1963 champs, The Chicago Bears.

    In their defense, that was the summer that saw Williie Galimore and John "Bo" Farrington killed in a car accident which set the tone for a very dissapointing 1964 season.

    The accident occurred on July 27th and the All-Star game was played on August 7th.

    The College All-Star Game, which for years was the ONLY football played in Soldier Field until the Bears moved in, ended in 1976.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I loved Bo Farrington in Charlie's Angels and that movie with Dudley Moore. She was a "10".

  • I really like the idea. However, I know why the pro-bowl players are pro-bowl players.

    I would like to tweak your idea just a little. I want to combine the senior bowl with a free agent bowl.

    That would be pure gold for media, fans, and coaches. The ability to see how future FA's will play on other teams and how prepared the rookies are for the NFL.

  • I know Jeff is rooting for a Bears Superbowl every year but he has to be rooting harder for the next Superbowl.

    You all know why right?

  • He has terminal cancer?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    yikes... too much.

    My vote was going to be.... he's dating one of trestman's daughters?

  • Super Bowl is in New York next year.

  • another interesting POV from benard pollard re: the football safety discussion taking place above:

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    and ed reed:

  • Steve Young just stopped by my office bldg for an investment meeting a few minutes ago. People were losing their damn minds. I was trying to think of a former Bear player that could inspire that kind of reaction... unfortunately Sweetness is gone and the next biggest legend is Da Coach.

  • steve young is gay


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Wherever Mike TomCzak goes in this city, the crowds follow. Totally.

  • Combine this with Call of Duty:

    Now, when you get a SMAW to the face, a medic can come and TRY to stem the bleeding.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    looks fun! and easy!

  • I should like to declare myself the best DBB blog poster to have ever graced this blog. And I may be the greatest poster EVER to post comments on somebody else's sports blog. Best EVAR.,0,584125.story

  • I was just reading JD's piece on FA QB's. He goes over the available QB's for backup duty. When he listed the Sex Cannon he mentioned the area scout for the Bears when Sexy came out of FLA was none other than Phil Emery. Can't say that gave me a warm fuzzy.

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    small hands... smells like cabbage.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

  • In reply to CanadaBear:

    Grossman was an interesting QB to be sure. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder whether "good Rex" would have been more prevalent had he not suffered season ending injuries his first two seasons and the effect those had on his mobility.

  • here's don banks mock draft 1.0:

    spoiler: he has us talking the other TE at #20

    noteworthy: there are still 2 top OTs, Barrett Jones, and Te'o still on the board at our pick in his world. Which means they won't be in the real world.

    Question for the draftniks ($, NB, Erik, etc...) if we do go TE @ #20 (which I do NOT agree with), who's the better pick... ertz (stanford) or eifert (ND)?

    and yes GP, you are.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I know.

    I don't know how you write a mock draft up, have Jones open at 20, and have us not pick them - when everyone else in Football land has us going with a LT in the 1st.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Understanding that Jones is NOT a LT, I get that. But he's OL, and while all the mocks have us going LT or G at 20, you take Jones over ANY TE in the 1st.

  • In reply to gpldan:


  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Zach Ertz. He can catch, run/pass block, and seems to be more Pro ready than the rest.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    I'll raise you a power of ten....

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    Jones played every line position at Bama, Ive read where some scouts think he can play any line position in the NFL. They say he would be a good LT, but probably a HOF center. I'd take Eifert, throw it high and the guy catches everything. I think Ertz is a better blocker.

  • Big Bird on Hub last night (you know where the recordings are, you find it) and said this should be our boy:

    Problem is, he's done so well at Senior Bowl, he's moved his ass into Top 10 land.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    He's a RT by trade, and that's where you want him. Bear Jew to swing, given he pans out on the conditioning in the offseason.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    I caught the Rambo reference in there GP. Nice job.

  • until I saw the paycheck 4 $6437, I didnt believe sister truly making money parttime from there computar.. there brothers friend has done this for only about a year and by now cleared the loans on there cottage and got a brand new Mini Cooper. we looked here, ......... BIT40.ℂOM

  • In reply to jennidavid:

    OMG... are you Emma's sister?!?!? SOOOOO COOOL!

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