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The future of the Pro Bowl remains in limbo

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The future of the Pro Bowl remains in limbo

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL has made no decisions on where or when the 2013 Pro Bowl will be played.ESPN reported Thursday that Commissioner Roger Goodell is "strongly considering" suspending the game for the upcoming season."No determination has been made yet about this season's game," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press. "We have been in discussions with the union about the future of the Pro Bowl."Goodell expressed his dissatisfaction with the low quality of play in the AFC's 59-41 win in Honolulu in January, a game that often resembled touch football. Many players chosen for the game bow out, and if the Pro Bowl is held before the Super Bowl, as in the last three years, players from the conference champions don't participate.It still gets solid TV ratings -- although viewership dropped 8.1 percent in January, the Pro Bowl still was the highest-rated sports program of the weekend.But it's also costly, particularly when played in Hawaii. And with so many defections-- there were 20 replacements for non-participating players in 2012, including Pro Bowlers from the Giants and Patriots who were otherwise occupied with the Super Bowl -- is the game still considered something special by the players?Newly elected NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth tweeted Thursday: "The Pro Bowl is an important tradition we are in talks with the league to improve and preserve the game for our players and fans"Hawaii started hosting the game in 1980 and it was held there annually until 2010, when it was moved to Miami and played the week before the Super Bowl there. Before moving it that year, the NFL expressed the need for a more modern stadium in Hawaii to host the Pro Bowl.The game returned to Hawaii in 2011, but the site for next year's game is up in the air, given the discussions between the league and the union."We have had lots of talks with the players about the Pro Bowl," NFL counsel Jeff Pash said last week. "When should it be played? Where? And certainly the quality of the game."We understand what contributes to the low quality of the game. It does not mean very much either financially or competitively. Players are reluctant to participate in a way that they could be injured. It's not going to ever look like a playoff game, but it needs to improve so fans don't say, I feel bad watching it.'"

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What does Corey Crawford's future look like?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What does Corey Crawford's future look like?

SportsTalk Live is on location at the United Center for Blackhawks Authentic Fan Night. Charlie Roumeliotis and Jay Cohen join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- Michelle McMahon joins the guys to discuss what Corey Crawford's latest concussion means for his future and the Blackhawks future.

13:30- Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy joins Kap to talk about his return from injury, how the Blackhawks will cope without Crow and get the U.S.-born kids' thoughts on the greatest American players in the game's history.

20:30- Pat Boyle joins the guys to talk about the future of the Blackhawks. What veteran players does the team need to think about moving to continue their rebuild?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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NBA Power Rankings: NBA Trade season heating up

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USA TODAY

NBA Power Rankings: NBA Trade season heating up

 

As the February 7 NBA Trade deadline approaches, front offices are starting to seriously discuss in-season changes they can make to improve their rosters as goals become clearer for teams throughout the league.

We already saw the funniest trade mishap in quite some time, as the Suns, Grizzlies and Wizards had a three-team deal dissolve amid confusion over which “Brooks” was in the trade--MarShon or Dillon.

The trade that ended up going down was the Wizards sending Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Suns for Trevor Ariza. Phoenix promptly waived Rivers and the Grizzlies re-entered the fray, picking up Rivers off of waivers.

The Lakers are reportedly still looking for floor-spacing to help out their (already) strong defensive squad. Ariza was linked to them because of his Los Angeles roots but ultimately the Lakers didn’t have enough to entice the Suns. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been linked to the Houston Rockets as they continued their eternal quest to find more 3-and-D wings.

All of the league is keeping an eye on the Warriors and Raptors, teams that are unlikely to make any roster moves but have dominated as of late, and seem destined to meet up in the 2019 NBA Finals. The Nuggets and Bucks are the other teams that has been strong enough to belong in the top tier of the league, with the Sixers being right behind them.

Both Denver and Philadelphia will need to let their rosters get familiar with each other. The Nuggets have important pieces in Isaiah Thomas and rookie Michael Porter Jr. on the shelf, while the Sixers are still building chemistry in their Simmons-Butler-Embiid lineups.

The league is heading for an intriguing week 10, with Celtics-Bucks, Pelicans-Lakers and Raptors-Sixers all being very important matchups.
Check out our latest NBA Power Rankings here.