Who are we to argue with success?
The Pro Bowl makes no sense. It’s an all star game for the NFL that offers no competitive friction, and even hard core football fans have zero allegiance to either the NFC or AFC.
Players celebrate a year of meaningful football with an afternoon of making sure no one is put at serious risk for injury.
It defies all the rules of a quality sporting event, and yet people watch. Last year, an average of 8.6 million viewers tuned in for the Pro Bowl.
For context, the Virginia vs. Duke college basketball game (the most viewed of the season so far) was watched by an average of 3.76 million. The 2018 Indy 500 attracted 4.9 million.
It’s easy to argue that this exhibition is a totally unworthy of an NFL event, but it’s even more difficult to persuade anyone with the NFL or ESPN that 8.6 million pairs of eyes should be scattered elsewhere on the Sunday prior to the Super Bowl.
We can carp and gripe about the Pro Bowl, or similar all-star events, being nothing more than a self-congratulatory showcase that is much more style than substance. But it brings eyes and thus value.
It’s the sporting event equivalent of Kylie Jenner. She has well over 100-million Instagram followers and a net worth estimated at $900-million. Why? She’s famous. Why is she famous? I don’t know. What does she do to earn money? She’s famous. Again – why is she famous? Again – I don’t know.
We can argue with it all we like, but despite our solid points that emphasize the silliness of the event (and Kylie’s wealth), we will lose.