2018 Pro Bowl: 125 ‘All Stars’?
The Pro Bowl is supposed to be a premier NFL exhibition game between all-stars; the concluding season’s best players in the AFC versus the best in the NFC. But the sheer size of the roster of players that have made the call-up over the past few years has left some American football fans questioning the significance of the game and the value of achieving modern Pro-Bowl status.
The 2018 Pro Bowl call-up, for example, extended invitations to 125 players from both conferences in total. Veteran US football writer Charean Williams called this ‘ridiculous’ in a blog she penned for NBC’s Pro Football Talk website, pointing out that the 2017 draft included 125 players too, with a record 133 invited in 2016.
Final Squad of 88
Of this year’s invitees, 10 have withdrawn over Super Bowl commitments, which is understandable. Another 27 are listed as ‘injured’, although Williams suspects they might just not be interested; that the liberality with which the ‘all-star’ label is being dispensed has devalued its status.
That leaves 88 players on the roster for the 2018 Pro Bowl, scheduled for January 28 at Orlando, Florida’s Camping World Stadium. If Williams is correct and the public are losing interest in the annual spectacle, her suggestion that the game is either scrapped entirely, or that the designation ‘Pro Bowler’ is only awarded to those who actually play in the game, might bear further investigation.
Online Betting Too Close to Call
Australian punters who enjoy American football will nevertheless be tempted to put an online bet on Sunday’s game. If they want a chance at a serious return, however, they’ll need to find an outlandish final score or an unlikely side-bet to take a punt on.
In terms of a straight win, both teams are neck-and-neck in the betting odds; too close to even money to make any difference. So whether or not the game has outlived its welcome, it ought to have some prodigious gridiron talent on display.
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