Bowl Week Grab Bag … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

There’s been a lot of material jumping off the pages of my notebook that involve a lot of bowl game action and other stuff.


Obviously, this does not qualify as breaking news. Everyone around pro football, from fans to owners, has known for some time that the annual Pro Bowl is the least satisfying performance each year. That they actually charge money and people actually pay money to be in the stadium to watch this trash is just short of grand larceny.

But the game they played Sunday night in Hawaii was the worst, the absolute worst. There may be more action physically at the 2012 NFL Draft than what the NFC and AFC teams showed. It was so bad that fans at Aloha Stadium starting booing the NFC team on its first possession. In essence, it’s football patty-cake.

The league has tried to change things a bit. They moved the game to before the Super Bowl, rather than after. They pulled the game out of Hawaii for two years, playing in Miami and Dallas before Super Bowls were played there. They have become far stricter when it comes to players that pull out of the game, supposedly because of injury.

I’m here to present a far greater change, one the NFL can even use to involve the fans more and put a bit more real football into the game.

First the voting for roster spots – the coaches, players and fans would select the top four players at each individual position. I’m not talking about four offensive linemen, but four left guards and four right tackles. By the end of voting, there would be 112 players in the Pro Bowl pool.

Next step – in the first week of the playoffs, maybe Sunday night after the third and fourth games of that weekend has been played, the league would stage a national Pro Bowl draft. The head coach in each conference with the best record that season and didn’t make the playoffs would be the Pro Bowl coaches.

And to make it more like fantasy football, the players would all be in one pool and could be selected by either coach no matter the conference. The fans would be allowed to vote via phone or internet on each pick, and the public choice would be highlighted before the coach made his call.

To keep the coaches from using the first choices to select their own players, they would not be allowed to draft one of their guys until pick No. 10.

When the coaches reached the point of having 50 players each, they would have their roster. The remaining dozen players would be used as late injury replacements.

Now, here’s the all important last step. There are millions of dollars involved in the game, with the winning team’s players currently receiving $50,000 while the losers get $25,000. My change would be simple – winner takes all. Part of that would not only be payment to players, but the league would pick up the hotel tab for every player on the winning team and his family. Not just player and wife, but all the extended family as well, and with some players that could be a dozen people.

There’s only one way to generate heat in the game – put money in the equation.


One of those giant houses out in the Loch Lloyd development in the far south of the Kansas City metro went up in flames last Thursday night.

Neighbors Matt and Lauren Cassel looked out their windows and saw the flames and smoke shooting out of the house. While Lauren called 911, the Chiefs quarterback ran next door and started banging on the doors and windows trying to alert anybody inside that they had a problem.

When a woman finally came to the door, she had no idea the house was on fire.

No one was hurt in the fire. The woman’s husband was out of town when the fire started. One Loch Lloyd neighbor told KMBC-TV, “I know Matt wouldn’t want this kind of attention, but I definitely think he was a hero last night.”

On Friday, Cassel relayed a message to the station. “I wasn’t heroic at all,” Cassel said. “I just ran up to the house and alerted them. The real heroes are the firefighters.”

Cassel, his wife Lauren and two children have lived in the gated-community at Loch Lloyd for three years.


More than 100 players were on the field at Ladd-Pebbles Stadium on Saturday for the Senior Bowl. There are always hundreds of media types there for the practices, but by the time the game is played its family, friends and the folks from the Mobile area. NFL teams seldom if ever have top-shelf personnel types in the stadium for the game – they’ll watch tape of the game in coming weeks.
A handful of players helped themselves, a few more hurt their draft status. Sometimes a player’s up and down depends on individual teams and their needs and evaluations.

One guy who I’m willing to bet helped himself in the eyes of the Chiefs evaluators was the Senior Bowl MVP Isaiah Pead (right). The University of Cincinnati running back had 133 all-purpose yards for the victorious North. The 5-10, 193-pound Pead was the Big East Conference offensive player of the year in 2011.

With the Bearcats over four seasons with a total of 44 games, Pead ran for 3,288 yards on 565 carries, or an average of 5.8 yards per carry. He also scored 27 touchdowns on the ground. There were 87 catches for 721 yards and 6 scoring catches. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Pead played at Eastmoor Academy where he broke all the school records previously established by two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.

Throughout the week of practice, Pead showed good acceleration and the ability to hit the holes fast and make defenders miss. He also showed excellent vision and was unafraid of attacking potential tacklers. Pead showed athletic moves and moxie, and that came out in Saturday’s game where he got the most out of his 11 touches.

The Chiefs need a running back, a fresh one who can provide some talented depth behind Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster. Pead is not at the top of the charts, more like a third-fourth-fifth round running back prospect. That’s right where the Chiefs should be looking in the backfield for help.

6 Responses to “Bowl Week Grab Bag … Monday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 30, 2012  - txchief says:

    …and in other breaking news, preseason games are a joke too! But unlike the Pro Bowl, season ticket holders are forced to pay for the preseason games.

  • January 30, 2012  - Blake says:

    I actually thought this years pro bowl was better than most, some of the players were actually really getting into the game especially on the AFC side. Ray Lewis was going crazy on the sidelines. Bob, why no mention of DJ’s Touchdown? At one point Tony G got mad cause he was actually hit hard in the game, which almost never happens. Cam Newton was getting thrown to the ground pretty good too. I thought there was much more emotion and fight in the game than I have seen in the pro bowl.

  • January 30, 2012  - Chuck says:

    I think they should just make it a “flag” football game and then you don’t have to worry about injurys. Funny thing about these Pro Bowl games is a couple of years from now no one will even remember the score or anything about the game. Can you tell me the “highlights” from last years game??????

  • January 30, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I attended every pro-bowl from 81-85. Actually, the practise’s that were held on high school fields were more fun. Hawaii takes football seriously. The first high school game I went to was in Alhoa stadium and drew 23,000 people. I’ve watched a few pro bowls, not that many, since then. Never have I seen anything like last night’s game. By the second play the fans were booing the absoulte lack of trying. I turned it off. I dug out a ticker stub from 1985 and then it cost $10. Hope they didn’t charge that much this year.

  • January 30, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I remember one year when I was there and Art Stills, a Chiefs defense end, recovered a fumble and returned it 80 some yards and fell down. He was done. On the five yard line. If it was during the season people would of screamed. In the pro-bowl, the entire stadium was enjoing it. It’s not really football. Just be happy that it’s not the last game of the year like normal.

  • February 1, 2012  - rufus says:

    that’s a fantastic idea Gretz.

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