NFL Makes Radical Changes to Pro Bowl So Fans Will Actually Be Interested
The NFL Pro Bowl, long considered to be an afterthought following a rigorous season, is getting a makeover.
The NFL has announced a bundle of changes, beginning with the demise of the traditional NFC-AFC game. Instead, Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will take on roles as alumni captains, in which they will pick rosters, along with a pair of writers for NFL.com.
Fans, coaches and players will vote players into the game, while sides will be chosen during the Pro Bowl Draft, which will take place January 22. The game itself will be played four days later in Hawaii.
Here’s a look at some other changes designed to shake up the contest:
- The first and third quarters will feature two-minute warnings and the ball will change hands after each quarter in an attempt to spice up play in the closing minutes of each quarter.
- There will be no kickoff. A coin toss will determine which team gets the ball first and the ball will go on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after one team scores.
- The game will be played with a 35-second/25-second play clock, instead of the usual 40-second/25-second one.
- If the offense fails to score at least one yard in the closing two minutes of a quarter, the clock will stop.
- The referee can start the game clock following an incomplete pass, except if it’s the last two minutes of the first half or last five minutes of the second half.