When a professional football coaching icon tells you your all-star game is no longer worth playing, let alone watching, perhaps you ought to pay careful attention.
John Madden, the Hall of Famer who coached the Oakland Raiders into their glory years, says the NFL Pro Bowl has become a mockery. He hates it. He detests the new draft system that allows Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders to pick the teams.
While he’s at it, he ought to level a barrage at the National Basketball Association for its all-star dunk contest and the National Hockey League for its all-star games that produce 15-12 scores.
The only all-star game worth a damn in my view is the Major League Baseball game in which the winning league — National or American — wins home-field advantage for the World Series.
The NBA all-star game features zero defense. Same for the NHL, where defensemen don’t hit anyone.
Back to the NFL. Football is a collision sport. How in players in good conscience actually seek to hit each other the way they would during the regular season? They risk serious injury. So they go through the motions and produce a game that features tepid blocking and tackling and lots of touchdowns.
These all-star games bore me to sleep.
Coach Madden is right to call out the NFL on this one.