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Please abolish the Pro Bowl game…

I’m sorry…this is unusually negative of me… but I want the Pro Bowl dead…

And this is not a shot at the good citizens of Hawaii…they’ve got better collegiate football to follow than the joke of a pro exhibition that was put on their plate yesterday… They deserve better.

LeSean McCoy turns the video camera on the fans after Saturday’s practice before the Pro Bowl game… which would be about as close as any Eagle or NFL player would come to actual “contact” during the entire Pro Bowl experience.

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Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall, of the AFC, catches a pass for a touchdown, beating Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas  of the NFC, in the third quarter of the Pro Bowl touch football game. 

Man, just hand out the hip-pocket flags and call it what it is— nothing wrong with a good clean game of “rough touch” football…

Besides only three Eagles being present for the game— McCoy, Jason Babin and Jason Peters— the event was a travesty and an insult to the sport based on the increasingly obvious fact that everyone—and I mean everyone— is holding back on meaningful contact.

Which I don’t blame them for…are you kidding me? The only reason to be hitting someone for real (or getting hit) this time of year is if you’re playing for the Lombardi Trophy…

So why even play the game? Don’t call it football if there’s no real hitting or if there’s a conspiracy of gentility…

Why not just call it the “Pro Bowl Awards Ceremony”… and introduce the players individually as their stats and video highlights show upon the stadium Jumbo-tron?

Then bring out some local youth teams and let them have at it for real…

Maybe I’m just a jerk, but I can’t stomach the Pro Bowl format any longer…and surely my discontent is exacerbated by the fact that the Eagles are not currently in Indianapolis preparing for a much more contact-worthy event.

Welp, at least Brandon Marshall enjoyed the day. Maybe that’s what I should be focusing on, a guy who was allowed to run free and show off his skills unabated by defense or game plan.

Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 176 yards and a Pro Bowl-record four touchdowns, and the AFC used a second-half “surge” to beat the NFC 59-41 on Sunday. The Miami Dolphins wide receiver had a touchdown catch in each quarter, including an early 74-yarder and a 3-yarder in the fourth, in a game filled with highlight-reel catches. He was selected the game’s MVP and his four TD catches set a Pro Bowl record.

The 59 points by the AFC set a Pro Bowl mark, and the 100 points scored by the two teams combined was the second highest, a touchdown shy of the 107 scored in 2004. But it was clear from the start it was Marshall’s day. He hauled in a deflected, go-ahead 47-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton, while on his back, to give the AFC a 38-35 lead late in the third quarter. It was Marshall’s third TD catch of the game, tying Jimmy Smith’s Pro Bowl record set in 2004.

Amazingly, the crowd of 48,000+ was booing Cam Newton…why?

The game featured 36 first-timers, including rookie quarterbacks Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals, who replaced Super Bowl quarterbacks Eli Manning and Tom Brady. Their selections made this Pro Bowl the first to feature two rookie signal callers.

While Dalton looked composed, Newton played horribly, struggling to move the ball, stay in the pocket and find his targets, which drew boos from the sun-splashed, sellout crowd of 48,423. Newton finished 9 of 27 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Dalton, meanwhile, was 7 of 9 for 99 yards and two TDs.

On his first series, Newton overthrew a wide-open Tony Gonzalez over the middle, with the ball sailing into Eric Weddle’s hands. The San Diego Chargers safety popped up to his feet and returned it 63 yards to the NFC 23, leading to a 37-yard FG by Sebastian Janikowski, which gave the AFC its first lead of the game at 31-28.

But for this joke of a game (and complete lack of an offensive plan or cohesive practice schedule) you boo Cam Newton?

Wow, Hawaiian fans just went way down in my book of…well, smart football fans.

With the Pro Bowlers unable to get out of third gear— particularly on the offensive and defensive lines— and hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight, the Pro Bowl featured some good, bad and real ugly moments…sometimes on the same play. For example, Aaron Rodgers caught a pass from himself. His throw was deflected at the line and he leaped to catch the ricochet and backpedaled for a 15-yard loss.

The AFC and NFC traded score after score, and turnover after turnover in the first half. It seemed more scripted than a WWE pay-per-view.

Each AFC player earned a record $50,000 for the win, while the NFC players received $25,000.

Based on that financial fact alone, every fan who paid for a ticket to the “game” should receive a full refund. If they were paying to see real NFL football, they did not receive the game they were promised—nor the authentic product as it was represented.

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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