COLUMN: Cotton Swab Bowl

Feb. 14—Everyone recovered from Super Bowl Sunday?

Don't some of you wish, as I have for years, that they would either play the Super Bowl on Saturday (so as to give millions of fans "recovery time" from the excitement of the game/hangover?) or make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday for the same purposes?

This was about as unenthusiastic as a Super Bowl could get for me...not a fan of either team involved! I would have rather seen the Lions meet the Bills.

But the game and the parties are not what has put the burr in my saddle at this time.

It is the now complete farce known as the "Pro Bowl", the NFL's version of an all-star game.

Baseball and hockey have the last remaining action all-star games. Pro basketball is an ego trip gone wild, no defense allowed.

I watched about five minutes of this year's NFL charade before I turned to something more useful, which was actually so non-useful I can't remember what it was I used to remove the pro bowl experience from my mind.

Could have been clipping my fingernails. Might have been rearranging my sock drawer, or folding a fitted bed sheet.

Whatever I ended up doing and forgetting was head and shoulders better than watching the alleged stars of the game I love go through ridiculous "skill drills" followed by a game of...this is hard for me to say....flag football played by NFL level players.

The Powder puff Bowl. Pretend football.

Just when it seemed this world, or at least my wacky world, could not go any further off the deep end into the quagmire of absurdity, there it was. Live on the big screen. Grown men, normally the finest athletes around, chasing each other's back pocket, hoping to snare the hanky hanging from said pocket.

No pads. No helmets. No tackling. No blocking.

In short, no football. Maybe it was a Nerf football?

I used to wonder why the stands at the big stadium in Honolulu were only half full when the real Pro Bowl was played there. If you are already on an island paradise and there is a football game featuring the best players, why would anyone not want to go see that?

Yeah, I know. There are some fun things to do and to watch on any beach in Hawaii.

But while you're there....?

Then it dawned on me that they never really have played real football at the Pro Bowl. Players ease up on blocks and tackles, and I can't say as I blame them. Why risk career-ending injury in a game that essentially means nothing? But at least they padded up and some of them actually played hard.

But when the "game" is, let's face it, the woke version of football, what is the point?

And now that the game is being played in Orlando, Florida, my point in this diatribe is readily transparent in a glimpse of the stadium stands.

A lot of the fans were apparently dressed like empty seats.

I would think the money grubbing NFL would realize you could put those players in a large field, even a cornfield (if you build it they will come) and have them sit at tables and sign autographs.

The wizards at the TV networks wouldn't care. Heck, you could probably even try to revive Bud Light sales while they were there.

That would be as much, if not more, entertaining than professional players chasing butt hankies.

Football, and I know they don't care, is in danger of losing one of their best fans! Not only has the Pro Bowl become the Cotton Swab Bowl, but know we also have to deal with college players hopping from team to team like gophers in a Whack-a-Mole game.

Can't tell the players without a scorecard has taken on new meaning.

Vince Lombardi is probably rolling over in his final resting place, hoping to be face down so the football world can kiss his behind.

Be careful football gurus. I'm sure there are a fair amount of fans who actually like the flag football and cornball skills tests.

But I'm pretty sure there are plenty of folks like me who may turn to high school football as the last bastion of the game.

You marketing folks have screwed up enough stuff. Leave the remaining portions of real football alone!


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