I've got bad news for those of you who think it's dumb to have the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl. It's probably going to be that way next year, too. And the year after. And the year after that.
The ratings are in, and the people at the NFL and ESPN are high-fiving each other like Brett Favre(notes) just agreed to play quarterback on all Monday night games next season. The Pro Bowl did a bizarrely high 7.9 rating, which is 39 percent higher than last year's post-Super Bowl Pro Bowl.
And it did this number despite everything in the world being against it. First, it was on cable television this year, as opposed to network television last year. Second, it was up against the Grammys and the WWE's Royal Rumble.
The NFL announced that the 2011 and 2012 Pro Bowls will return to Hawaii, but hasn't announced whether it will be the week before or after the Super Bowl. Sorry, people who hate the pre-Super Bowl slot. If it can do ratings like that, it's going to stay where it is. Commissioner Roger Goodell might even consider moving it to Week 14 or something.
For whatever it's worth, I never understood the complaint about playing the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl. What's it hurt? Yeah, the guys from the Super Bowl teams don't get to play. So what? What's that do, compromise the integrity of the Pro Bowl? That's kind of like compromising the integrity of the Royal Rumble.
If you don't like the Pro Bowl, why does it make a difference on what day you have to ignore it? You can ignore it in late January, or the middle of February.
And evidently, fewer people ignore the thing in late January, so that's probably where it's going to stay.