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Goodell says NFL's all-stars must play Pro Bowl at higher level

  • By NFL.com
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With Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers already having decried the lack of effort by his Pro Bowl teammates, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called for the league's all-star game to be played at a higher level.

"We're either going to have to improve the quality of what we're doing in the Pro Bowl or consider other changes or even consider eliminating the game if that's the kind of quality game we're going to provide," Goodell said Sunday on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," according to ESPN.com.

After acknowledging that "fans were actively booing in stands," Goodell implied that the game must be less about rest and relaxation for the players and more about giving fans what they want. According to the report, Goodell said he has communicated his concerns to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.

"I know players love to be in Hawaii, but we have to start with the quality of what we're doing," Goodell said. "If the fans are responding negatively to what we're doing, we better listen. And that was my message."

Rodgers, who recently was named the league's MVP, registered his negative review shortly after the AFC's 59-41 victory.

"I'll be honest with you, I was a little disappointed," Rodgers told ESPN Milwaukee. "I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves. There should be some pride involved in a game like that, and I was just surprised by some of the efforts by some of the guys."

Goodell didn't provide any hints as to how, specifically, the game could be improved.

Major League Baseball also has dealt with an all-star game that has at times been played with low levels of intensity. After the 2002 edition ended in a tie, it was decided that home-field advantage in the World Series would be given to the league that won the game.

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