If we were modern sorts, keen on statistics and analytics, we would construct a poll to ask NFL gridiron fans a question.
Which is the bigger waste of time, the four-game preseason of meaningless exhibitions or the farcical Pro Bowl that falls at the end of the season during the two-week interlude between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl?
There are no wrong answers.
Both are monumental wastes of time.
Players have turned the art of escaping the Pro Bowl into an exercise that makes the U.S. basketball players’ defection from the FIBA World Cup seem amateurish by comparison.
The only thing a Pro Bowl selection supplies is contract negotiation leverage. Pro Bowl MVP awards can be found on eBay, up for auction, but lacking any bidders.
Pre-season football may have made some sense back when the NFL played a 12-game regular season fixture. The gap between the last game of the season and the first of the new season was substantial enough that it was necessary to shake off the rust.
The offseason is now reduced to the extent that coaches and club owners are loathe risking season-ending injuries to expensive star players.
NFL club owners want to expand the season by eliminating at least two pre-season games. Players are in accord with that proposal, although they are not on board for increasing the length of the regular season without a larger share of the revenue pie.
The owners, naturally, are opposed to giving up their cash.
Another proposal would add an additional round of playoff football.
Under the current system, 12 of the 32 teams qualify for post-season play, which includes monetary bonuses for players and clubs that advance through the playoffs.
Objectively, in our opinion, four to six of the clubs that make the playoffs have no business being there. Getting in with a .500 or one game above .500 record is an obvious sign of a team that should be looking for code hopping jobs, but we do not recall any serious instances of an NFL star chasing his NRL dream.
Since we cleverly worked in a mention of code hopping, Valentine Holmes is rated as a long shot to make the final 53-man game day roster of the New York Jets.