A football end and a possible new beginning

Back then, the NFL champ played a college football all-star team in August. Fixing the pro bowl would make it a game between college all-stars and pro all-stars.

For those who aren’t into basketball as much as football, the sports season is over until April.

Tough loss for the Eagles, but the future is bright for any team that wins a conference championship and still has two No. 1 picks in their back pocket.

Diplomatic answer but if it was me I would have said, “No, it’s a football school.”

To me, my No. 1 sports team is the Temple football Owls.

A very distant second is the Temple basketball Owls, only because I don’t find basketball nearly as compelling a sport as football.

The other teams in town,, the Phillies and the Eagles, are tied for a not-so-close third.

The Sixers are fourth and I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the Flyers.

(Sorry, Flyers’ fans)

So, at least to me, the next big sports day is April 8, the date of the Cherry and White football game.

If that game is anything like the past few Cherry and White games, there won’t be much hitting involved.

It is what it is. You don’t have to like it but that’s football in 2023.

Consider yourself lucky, though. I tuned in for the Pro Bowl last week and saw a bunch of drills that reminded me of some of the Rod Carey Cherry and White Days.


Time to tweak a tradition.

I say bring back the College All-Stars vs. an All-Pro team.

One, it would be a “real game” and not a bunch of drills. Two, the pride factor for both the college kids and the pros wanting to teach them a lesson will make it the most competitive all-star game since Pete Rose knocked over Ray Fosse to help the National League win a cage match with the American League in baseball.

It’s worth trying. Hell, it would make that week between the NFL conference championships something to look forward to and not to dread.

I blame the people running these games, not the players,
The way all-star games are set up now, it’s not to simulate real football in the NFL or colleges.

I have proposed a trade that would benefit both organizations.
Play a combined group of the best college all-stars (an East-West Shrine and Senior Bowl combined team, if you will) against a REAL all-pro team (minus Super Bowl participants, of course).
Ditch the pro bowl.
Ditch the East-West Shrine game.
Ditch the Senior Bowl.
A similar game was played up to and including 1977 and the pros dominated, winning 31 and losing nine. There were two ties. The college team won enough games to make it interesting enough to attract viewers, a ratings bonanza in the early days of television.
One of the differences was that most of those games were in August against the defending NFL champs.
Another, more important, one was both teams were actually TRYING to win.
That’s really the name of any game and something that has been lost in recent all-star football years.
My late father and guys from his generation said that the college vs. pro-all-star game was one of the highlights of the football season in those days, right up with big games in college football and NFL playoff games.

The perfect time to do it is the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. Get the Pro Bowl guys together and get a bunch of college guys who want to up their value in the draft (obviously not the first- and round-round players) and play a real game instead of a bunch of guys trying to throw through tires.
I know the college kids would play hard and I suspect pride alone would make the pros play a real game as well.
I can’t think of a better way for the NFL to break out of its Sunday-before-Super Bowl malaise and  it would certainly be a booster shot for college football.
A win-win for all fans of this wonderful game.

The next football any of us will see is April 8. Let’s hope it’s a slobber knocker but there’s no hope involved if the pro all-stars faced the college ones.

You know it will be.

That’s the way football is made to be played.

Friday: The Klecko Interview

Monday: The AAC schedule


7 thoughts on “A football end and a possible new beginning

  1. Apparently no one feels strongly about this subject given all the comments this has gathered after four days.

    For the NFL side, I don’t think teams would want their players participating. The Pro Bowl had evolved to a push and shove game rather than hard hitting, so risk of injury was minimal. The college players would be wanting to make an impression and be motivated to hit hard and a play a bit on the edge of the rules. Coming through a long season, I doubt the pro players would be interested in another game like that.

    There used to be something in the 60’s (for thankfully only a couple years) called the Runner-up Bowl. Second place teams from the NFL conferences would meet in Miami. Drew poorly; can’t speak to the ratings, but must not have been that great for it to wither quickly. Eagles went once and got demolished by the Lions (!) I think.

    Perhaps a pro team comprised of practice squad players could be assembled to play the college team of possible free agents and third day draft level players. Or some of the USFL and XFL players who’ve been already practicing. That would mean the NFL might have to make some agreement with the spring leagues which they might not want to do for many reasons.

    While it would not endorsed by the NFL, maybe Fox could sponsor a game with the same group of college players against last season’s USFL champs. Might get a more eyes to watch the game.

    • Good idea. Btw, the Eagles lost to the Colts in the runnerup bowl, 20-14. Hardly demolished.

    • I think what Mike presents is one of those ‘good idea in theory but wouldn’t work in reality’ situations, mainly because of risk of injury and money (with both factors probably being among the primary reasons these types of games/events fell by the wayside). If prospects are sitting out major bowl games , etc., I can’t see them suiting up for a game like this.

      Joe P.

  2. 1962: Lions 38, Eagles 10.

  3. The Super Bowl will always be/should be the last game of the football season.

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