One of the items up for discussion in owners meetings this week was whether the Pro Bowl would be played or not. And the NFL has announced the game will continue.
There was also talk of moving the game to the Super Dome in New Orleans the week before the Super Bowl. But along with the NFLPA agreement the game should be played the week prior to the Super Bowl, they agreed the game belonged in Hawaii.
The exotic locale is added incentive for players to attend and the timing is during the week lull between the AFC and NFC championship games and the Super Bowl and therefore the game is not an afterthought once the season is completed.
This year the game will take place on January 27, 2013 in its usual location of Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The big reason for debating whether to continue the playing of the game was the quality of play. The game has become unwatchable in recent seasons. Players have not taken it seriously and everyone is so concerned with the injury risk, there is little to no effort.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL owners weren't sure what to do. Unless something could be figured out to make the game worth playing, and more importantly worth watching, they would cut the game altogether.
When the idea of cutting the game became serious discussion, the players began asking if their Pro Bowl bonuses would be lost. That provided the league with their primary means of keeping the game going. Although, there has yet to be an offering of how exactly the quality of the game would improve.
"The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii," said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson. "We will support the players on this initiative to improve the Pro Bowl. We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards. We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season's game."
They already offer bonuses for playing in the game although it is only given to those originally selected to the Pro Bowl. Alternates will not receive the bonus.
In addition to the bonus for playing in the game, there will be a bonus of $53,000 for each player on the winning team and $26,000 for those on the losing team. The league is hoping the extra $27k for the winning team will have them putting forth more effort. Although, for guys who make multimillions, that isn't a lot. I guess they will have to put those guys still making six figures in the game so they can get some real effort.