There’s nothing worse than cold balls: 12 January 2011

It’s that time of year.

 
In college, we called the switch to Standard Time “The Dark Ages” for the obvious reason – it always seems to be dark outside. And now we enter the beginning of the darkest days – the drawing down of football season and the wait for baseball season.
College football is no more. I know, I know, it’ll be back next season, but as far as we care, it’s OVER. September seems so far away. Luckily, we have the NFL playoffs, the Pro Bowl (hold that thought) and, of course, the Super Bowl to look forward to (even if the Saints won’t be there). But even that knowledge tells us that the end is near. Which gives us too much time on our hands to find things like this nugget from Troy Aikman regarding the disadvantages of frigid pigskin: Cold Balls.

 

But, as some of you are thinking, there’s basketball. Yeah. Wonderful. The NBA and its farm systems (formerly known as college basketball). I have long supported a change in the format of NBA games – spot both teams 100 points and make the game last two minutes. As for college ball, eh, I could care less. Yes, I fill out a bracket every year – armed with complete, utter ignorance of any team in the tournament. And I do as well as about 2/3 of the people in whatever pool I happen to be a part of.

Back to the Pro Bowl. This year will be the second that the game will be played BEFORE the Super Bowl. This is one I truly don’t get. The season is still going! Half of the players  (OK, maybe not half, but you get my point) elected to the Pro Bowl won’t even be there because they’re preparing for the Super Bowl. So why bother? I mean, granted, the Pro Bowl was never really much to get excited about, unless you happen to live in Hawaii, which I used to. I went to a Pro Bowl in the ‘90s and it was fun, no doubt. It’s the only chance you’ll get to see professional football if you live in Hawaii. A small price to pay for living in tropic splendor. The tailgates started early and ended late. And because it wasn’t sold out (Aloha Stadium rarely is – the only sellout I remember in my four years there was when San Diego State (read: Marshall Faulk) played UH), you could get down close the field and the players.

 
But if you’re watching it on TV in Butte, Montana, it’s not really that exciting. Even less so if it’s a week before the Super Bowl. Come on, NFL. Let’s put the otherwise-useless Pro Bowl back where it belongs: at the end of the season – an otherwise-useless time of year.

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