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Is the Pro Bowl No More?

Honestly, I won’t miss it much. 

It’s been called the game everyone wants to be named to, but no one wants to play in and the actions of some of footballs biggest stars (claims of injuries, declining to play outright) have proven the nickname applies.

Goodbye.  Here’s hoping they replace the honor with a nice dinner and a free trip to Hawaii.  That’s what all those athletes really wanted anyway after destroying themselves for 16 weeks of hard-nosed football.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

The next Pro Bowl is scheduled the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3, but a game site has not been listed because of its precarious status, sources added.

“No determination has been made yet about this season’s game,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in response to ESPN’s report. “We have been in discussions with the union about the future of the Pro Bowl.”

Per the collective bargaining agreement, the league must consult with the union on Pro Bowl matters but can unilaterally suspend the game. The league would like to have a joint consensus with the union, sources said.

Newly elected NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth tweeted Thursday: “The Pro Bowl is an important tradition we are in talks with the league to improve and preserve the game for our players and fans.”

If the game is suspended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl balloting process to identify the season’s top players and would direct teams to remain open to negotiating Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts and to honor Pro Bowl incentive and escalator clauses to avoid any serious conflict with the players association. Those players also likely would be honored in some fashion during Super Bowl week.

The league and union held discussions last week on whether the Pro Bowl can become more attractive but neither side has embraced an alternative solution, sources said. Both sides also concede that heightened player health and safety issues have been a contributing factor to a diminished product.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is on the record saying eliminating the Pro Bowl has been on the table and been openly discussed in the past.  Frankly, they might as well do it.

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