TAMPA -- During his annual pre-Super Bowl press conference Roger Goodell hit on a number of wide-ranging topics, from the economy, the collective bargaining agreement and post-concussion syndrome. While he eloquently stated the league's stance on each, he seemed absolutely clueless when it came to the decision to move the Pro Bowl from Hawaii to the site of the Super Bowl one week before the game.
Goodell said the move would increase the popularity of the game and reward players by putting them on the biggest stage next to the Super Bowl.
What Goodell essentially did with the move -- which, by the way, I fully expect to change after next year -- is make the least exciting all-star game absolutely irrelevant.
How can the league still call next year's game the "Pro Bowl" when players on both Super Bowl teams will not be allowed to play in the game? Let's say, for example, the Cowboys and Patriots played each other last year in the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl was played one week before the game. That would mean 21 players -- including Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Tony Romo and Terrell Owens -- wouldn't have been eligble to play.
That's like staging an NBA All-Star game without Kobe Bryant and LeBron James one week before an NBA Finals between the Lakers and Cavaliers. It makes no sense whatsoever.
Also, isn't one of the perks of making it to the Pro Bowl getting an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii with your family after the season? Now South Beach isn't too shabby but how many players will want to spend a week in North Dallas or Indianapolis?
Not only will players of Super Bowl teams not be in the game, but I'm guessing there will be several mysterious injuries or other excuses why players won't be playing in Pro Bowls played in those cities. I'm guessing Goodell will figure this out next year before it gets ugly and nearly half the players voted as Pro Bowlers no-show for the game for one reason or another.
Check SI.com's Super Blog regularly for more dispatches from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.