This Sunday will be the NFL Pro Bowl; a game the league was close to cancelling, and honestly it wouldn't be a surprise if this was the last hurrah of the All-Star contest. However, if this will be the last Pro Bowl, at least it will go out on a positive note for Ram fans. Robert Quinn and Johnny Hekker (who are on the same team) will be attending the Pro Bowl to cap off their amazing seasons. It's great for a team like the St. Louis Rams, as they try to turn the corner next year. Having a defensive end like Quinn - who was half a quarterback sack away from being the leader in the National Football League -and punter like Hekker, who broke the NFL record for punting average, is kind of a nice consolation prize for a so-so 2013 campaign by the Rams.
Now back to the Pro Bowl itself: the NFL is really trying to make it interesting this season. It starts with the first ever draft; teams being drafted instead of the traditional AFC vs NFC. Deion Sanders will try his best to make this interesting. Also this year, there will be a host of new rules. Here's a few of them:
Two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct "two-minute drills," which are especially exciting for fans.
The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.
The defense will be permitted to play "cover two" and "press" coverage. In previous years, only "man" coverage was permitted, except for goal line situations.
At the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass. This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter.
The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.
A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.
The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two- minutes of the second and fourth quarters.
Honestly, I like the idea of a Pro Bowl game. But they need to remember to cater to the fans and make us happy. Make every quarter during the Pro Bowl 8 minutes; shorter is always better when the games don't count. Why do the players have to go inside during halftime? Let the teams stay on the opposite sides of the field and have the coaches talk to them; let the players who started the game have social media interaction with the fans, ask them questions on "LIVE" TV. Everyone wants to see their favorite player chat with fans. What about all the competitions they used to have leading up to the game? Fans loved that, didn't they?
Here's a few more ideas, me and Doug came up with to make the game more exciting, and heighten the competition a bit by putting some pressure on the losing team:
1\ Make the losing team's players have to participate in a reality TV show, starring Skip Bayless and Dave Dameshek. The idea is simple: Have them ride around in a mini-van, and field questions as they eat veggie falafels. But Skip gets to drive, OK? He gets to wear Dameshek's "Bag of Shame" while doing so. It will be fun for the kids to watch... NO, REALLY!
2\ When a team scores, the opposing team has to add pads under their uniforms. If past games are any barometer, there will be 22 "Michelin Men" running around the field by the end of the 4th quarter. This would be GREAT TV! Think about an already rotund lineman rolling around on the ground because he can't get up! Classic, am I right?
3\ If a team scores, the one of opposing team's head coaches and coordinators have to exchange clothing with an NFL cheerleader. Can you imagine just how nervous Ron Rivera will get after the second score? Chuck Pagano probably has the legs to pull it off, but Ron?
4\ All the players on the losing team have to change their Twitter handles for a year, by adding "#I'm-a-Tinkerbell" to their names. This applies to Richard Sherman too, even though he isn't playing in the game.
5\ The winning team gets to party with Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel on a boat. Drinks, women, bibles, and football, what's a better time than that?
Your thoughts on how to make the game more "interesting? Let's see what you got in the comments!