After further review, the Pro Bowl still sucks: 4 ways to actually enjoy Sunday’s not-so-big game
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The NFL Pro Bowl is only a few days away, and, if you’re like everyone, you didn’t win that Genny Cream Ale mail-in rebate contest for tickets to the annual half-assed game in Hawaii. Unless you’re a fan of watching strong dudes enjoy weather, it can be tough to muster a care for a televised game so full of no-shows that it amounts to the Buffalo Bills playing the 1997 Atlanta Falcons. As a double-crotch slap, Aaron Rodgers and a host of Green Bay Packers will be at the game, instead of at next week’s actual championship bout. You’re going to have to call some audibles on the Pro Bowl broadcast to make it palatable, so here are a few ways to actually enjoy the not-so-big game.
Re-appropriate play calls
If the NFL isn’t going to give you an actual football game, then you shouldn’t be expected to watch it under the veil of reality. Sketch frantic crayon drawings based on the animal names and colors the QB yells at the line of scrimmage. Record the game so that you can transcribe all of its contents for free, personal distribution in case some form of SOPA eventually becomes law. And who knows what rich, stereophonic qualities the game might take on when you sync up four, live-audio broadcasts in different rooms, à la The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka? That’s for you, your in-house audio technician, and NBC announcer/Hail Mary perfector Doug Flutie to find out.
Extra point: Spend the week after the game faxing the NFL offices your epic poem based on the performance of Ravens safety/Pro Bowl starter Ed Reed.
Don’t go into the huddle without: numerous sound systems; box of Flutie Flakes.
Invent a new drinking game
A non-traditional game calls for non-traditional consumption. For instance, did you know that San Francisco 49ers tackle and Pro Bowler Joe Staley’s favorite mid-game drink is prime rib au jus? No? That’s because it’s (probably) not true. But don’t let that stop you from taking a shot of the meat juice every play he’s on the field. Each player can be designated an edible liquid from your food supply in correlation with their accomplishments (i.e. Clay Matthews + tackle for a loss = drink entire Little Hug). After all that, if you still want to wash away the third and fourth quarters with Singapore Slings, you’ve somehow earned it.
Extra point: At a hot enough temperature, nacho cheese can break down most solids into usable beverages.
Don’t go into the huddle without: one case of Little Hugs; two cases of Pepto-Bismol.
With today’s mobile devices, any location can be made to feel like the stands at Aloha Stadium. The trick to this, however, is strength in numbers. One person yelling at their phone about the Pro Bowl would surprise no one. But a dozen people doing that same thing? That transcends the game altogether. It may be hard to surprise most bartenders with these antics, but running into an unfamiliar establishment with a handful of people hysterically insisting that they show the Pro Bowl might just do the trick.
Extra point: Face your living room TV toward a window and watch the game with binoculars from the neighbor’s lawn.
Don’t go into the huddle without: binoculars; bail.
See no evil
Perhaps the most entertaining Pro Bowl of all is ignoring the game altogether. Obviously, the arts world doesn’t hold its schedule as near and dear to most sporting events, particularly not one that most people will be surprised to channel surf upon. If you like TV even when it’s not showing football, there’s Pro Bowl counter-programming from Ax Men, Jumanji, and, at one point, its rival in sporting indifference, the NHL All-Star game. To ensure that all will be entertained, the Internet still offers many, many clips of Riding The Bus With My Sister.
Extra point: Passive-aggressive ignorance counts as not watching, too. In a group of people, insist on having the game on, but put it on mute and never make eye contact with the TV.
Don’t go into the huddle without: playbill; blinders.