Can an idea be brilliant, innovative and all the other superlatives that are being heaped on the NFL’s plan to fix the Pro Bowl — which involves having two captains draft their rosters playground-style on live television, rather than the conventional AFC vs. NFC clash — when it was blatantly ripped off from the guys who thought of it first?
No. The answer here is simple. It’s not innovative in any way.
Try telling that to the NFL media, however.
The NFL’s new Pro Bowl plan (which, to be clear, is just a proposal and is far from actually happening at this point) is being heaped with praise by some NFL writers this morning. Clark Judge, Senior NFL Columnist for CBS Sports, called it “brilliant.” Others have echoed the sentiment.
Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk has a little more perspective on the matter, however:
— Darin Gantt (@daringantt) April 9, 2013
You see, the NHL introduced the “fantasy draft” format for its annual All-Star Game back in 2011. Though the format mostly flew under the radar in the U.S., the reality show-esque draft was televised in Canada to big ratings:
Make no mistake — it will be really interesting to see captains like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady pick and choose the players they want on their Pro Bowl rosters. Will they target offensive lineman with their early draft picks? Or maybe they’ll try to assemble a collection of all the best receivers in the league. Who will get the unfortunate honor of being picked last? It will be fascinating to watch and it’s a surefire ratings winner for the NFL (assuming it actually happens).
It’s not an innovative idea, however. Let’s give credit where it’s due.