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And Another Thing


Fixing the Pro Bowl

Well, this is some food for thought. (Or at the very least, food for little thought bubbles above people's heads).

The NFL is going to pick the Pro Bowl players via a sort of fantasy draft? it won't be the AFC vs. the NFC anymore? And they're going to make a bunch of other changes aimed at (thank God) speeding up the game?

I guess that means the gloves are off on some other changes that have been percolating in the back of my head, vis-a-vis the Pro Bowl ...

1. Go all in on speeding up the game. Play with a running clock.

With allowances for halftime, the game will last, like, 90 minutes in real time. That's perfect. I mean, who watches the Pro Bowl for any longer than that anyway?

2. Make the quarterbacks play both ways on at least one series.

Who wouldn't want to see Tom Brady at free safety? Or RG III covering Megatron at cornerback? Or Peyton and Eli Manning as bookend outside linebackers?

And it's not like they're going to get hurt. It's the Pro Bowl. They don't call it the Greatest Spectacle In Groin-Pull Avoidance for nothing.

3. Mandate one "Rudy" down per half.

In other words, the place kickers have to play an actual snap from scrimmage, preferably at the position for which they're least suited. Comedy ensues.

4. Make participation voluntary for all offensive linemen.

After all, those guys get beat up enough during the season. Let 'em go to Waikiki for the day. Make the defensive players count to 3-Mississippi before they're allowed to rush, and designate one player on offense as all-time center.

I nominate Tebow.

5. At least one series per half, both offenses have to run the wishbone.

Because, you know, I miss it.

6. Instead of the coaches wearing leis and Hawaiian shirts, make them wear funny hats instead.

This goes back to Media Day for Super Bowl XLI, where some radio jamoke tried to get Bill Belichick to don a red plastic tricorn hat. Needless to say, he declined.

Sorry, Coach. You don't get off that easy. Put that baby on.

7. Exploding footballs.

No explanation required.

8. For one series per half, replace the real officials with a crew comprised entirely of the Robertson family from "Duck Dynasty."

Willie as the back judge. Jase as the head linesman. And -- who else? -- Uncle Sy as the referee.

It'll be like last September all over again.

9. If one team goes in front by three touchdowns or more, invoke the "Semipro" rule.

Which is to say, at least one key player on the team that's in front has to switch teams.

I nominate Tebow.

And last but not least:

10. With eight minutes to play in the first half ... release a cheetah.

Because cheetahs are cool. They just are.

Ben Smith's blog.