SAN FRANCISCO -- The future of the Pro Bowl is in question once again because Commissioner Roger Goodell isn't happy with the product.
"I'm not gonna speculate on where the Pro Bowl is going but I was disappointed in what I saw on Sunday," Goodell said. "I had raised this issue three or four years ago. We worked with a number of players to make changes in the game. They had a positive impact, at least in the short term. But I didn't see that this past week."
Team Irvin destroyed Team Rice 49-27 in a game that resembled flag football more than a contact sport. And while that's perhaps what an all-star game should look like, Goodell has grown tired of the trend.
"I think our biggest standard has to be what we expect from the NFL and what our fans expect from the NFL. If it's not quality, it's not a real competition that we can be proud of, we have to do something different. That's my number one priority right now. I'm open to new ideas, I'm open to how we do it, but it's not the kind of game that I think we want to continue to have in its current format, based on what we saw last week," Goodell said.
Team Rice's curious drafting did the game's competitiveness no favors, and we're not sure exactly what the NFL can do in terms of making the players compete harder. They are inherently great players who just finished a brutal regular season and mostly just want to avoid injury. Perhaps a skills competition would be more entertaining and the players might actually take it more seriously.
Here's what else we learned at Commissioner Goodell's annual state of the league press conference:
- The Patriots' deflated footballs scandal remained a big topic one year later, with three questions during the press conference about it. The answers about "spot checks" and PSI measurements were, frankly, confusing like the entire issue.
"We don't disclose all the specifics on that because it's meant as a deterrent," Goodell said of the spot checks.
"I'm not going to speculate what we will do pending the outcome," Goodell said.
- Goodell could not be giddier about the Los Angeles Rams' stadium plans, saying it would "exceed all expectations" and be "transformational" for the league. The league does not appear to be worried about the business maxim "under-promise and over-deliver" when it comes to this stadium.
- Goodell said they take the HGH allegations against Peyton Manning seriously, but there is no independent investigation at this time.
"If we feel that that's necessary at some point, we may do that. At this point, we don't," Goodell said.
"When we find the facts, we'll share them."
- One of the more interesting developments of the day: Goodell revealed he has proposed that two personal foul penalties in a game should result in a player ejection. The Competition Committee will discuss the proposal.
- Goodell expects the league to play more games in London than "just" three per season moving forward, although he believes the league is a long way off from having a franchise there.
- Goodell does not foresee a change in the league's marijuana policy in the short term.
- Goodell on whether daily fantasy is gambling: "I don't make that determination. Each state makes that determination."