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Bleacher Report – Vikings

No thanks: Pro Bowl receiving a record number of declines

By Andrew Krammer

Sunday’s Pro Bowl may look more like the NBA’s ‘Rising Stars’ challenge than a full-fledged All-Star game.

That’s at least the picture laid out by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, who pointed out this year’s Pro Bowl has received a record number of declines. They’re up to 133 invitations as of Tuesday afternoon, which trumps the previous high of 119 set in 2009. The original roster includes 86 selections.

The Vikings have benefited with four replacements in safety Harrison Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Only one of the original six quarterbacks, Russell Wilson, is set to play Sunday.

It’s an alarming rate that shows players, just as well as fans, are becoming increasingly uninterested in the game. Players are replaced due to injury and Super Bowl berths, and many, like Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers this year, decline when asked as an alternate. Pro Bowl bonuses in contracts are only paid out to players that make the original roster. Tweaks to the game’s format, like a fantasy draft as opposed to NFC/AFC teams, have failed to buoy diving TV ratings. Last year’s Pro Bowl hit an eight-year low with a 5.6 overnight rating.

This year’s Pro Bowl will be televised Sunday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN, with teams selected by Hall of Fame captains Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin on Wednesday night.

The post No thanks: Pro Bowl receiving a record number of declines appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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