Pro Bowl Weekend in Vegas

We’re in Las Vegas this weekend and so is the Pro Bowl, somewhat to our surprise.

We’re here for a weekend getaway for my wife’s birthday, something we booked a while back. Vegas is an easy, cheap, and short flight for us and, while we don’t gamble it is a fun place to hang out for a couple of days… at least until the cigarette smoke and seedy underbelly of the place starts to become too much.

Faux Venice and The Beatles on Las Vegas Blvd.

And, of course, we thought it would be a quiet weekend here in the dead week between the end of the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. I knew the Pro Bowl was this weekend, but it is traditionally played in Hawaii where the weather is nice and the players can relax.

I mean, nobody knocks themselves out for the Pro Bowl.

Back in the day they used to have the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl… which meant nobody cared. Now it is before the Super Bowl… and I’m still not sure anybody cares.

I mean, none of the players from the teams playing in the Super Bowl will be there. And, as I noted, nobody goes all out for the Pro Bowl. In a full contact sport like American football where injuries are common, who wants to get hurt for a game that doesn’t really mean much besides a chance to showcase some of the players in the league who didn’t make it to the last game.

When the flight was full getting to Vegas, we were a bit surprised. And then as we passed by Allegiant Stadium on the way to the hotel we saw plastered to the side of the place a big banner about the Pro Bowl.

So it is a bit more crowded here than it might have been otherwise… though it is still just the Pro Bowl.

All of which made me reflect a bit on the term “gaming” and what it means to different people. I tend to mean video games on consoles or the PC when I use the term, or maybe mobile gaming when my wife and I are playing Pokémon Go.

Here in Vegas the term very much means gambling. Everything else here is just meant to drive gambling.

And then there is sports gaming, which Vegas is now a part of having secured an NHL franchise and lured the NFL’s Raiders away from the shambles of the Oakland Coliseum to the second most expensive stadium in the world.

This year it is the Pro Bowl in Vegas, but next year they will be hosting the Super Bowl. We won’t be here for that weekend for sure.


3 thoughts on “Pro Bowl Weekend in Vegas

  1. Mailvaltar

    Yeah, I know a couple of Football fans, and neither of them, myself included, care the least bit about the Pro Bowl. It isn’t really Football when everybody cares quite a lot about not getting hurt, as you said.

    This time around it was only Flag Football though, most likely for that exact reason. Not a bad idea overall then I guess. Unfortunately it turns out that Flag Football might be pretty fun to play, but apart from seeing the players having fun without their helmets and pads on it isn’t all that entertaining to watch.


  2. Nogamara

    Huh, TIL about the Raiders. Well, apparently they managed to keep their logo and the fans don’t get the joyful experience to buy everything again, if there are any fans left. Am I overly cynic just because “my” team once got sold to another city? Maybe.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Mailvaltar – We were having lunch and the Pro Bowl was on the TV at the bar and I saw them playing flag football and thought that must just be some sort of warm up. I grew up in a household that was all over football. I’ve seen Pro Bowl games. They were real, if subdued, football. But this? I clearly don’t understand sports.

    @Nogamara – Given I am about a 40 minute drive from the Oakland Coliseum, that was all kind of a big deal last year… though, even then, I kind of forgot until we got to Vegas and saw the official Las Vegas Raiders gear store.

    But yes, at least the core logo didn’t have the city name in it, unlike the 49ers, who have SF emblazoned on the side of their helmets despite the fact that they play in Santa Clara, about an hour’s drive from San Francisco.

    When the 49ers are on Monday Night Football they have the Goodyear blimp flying around up in SF for skyline shots before and after commercial breaks despite that being nowhere near where the game is happening.


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