Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Team Irvin quarterback Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons (2) throws a pass against Team Carter in the 2015 Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX – The Pro Bowl started with a huge, sellout crowd. Before the fourth quarter even started, there were more than a few pockets of empty seats in University of Phoenix Stadium. It cleared out even more by the end, even though the game came down to the final seconds. Television ratings also reflected that fans might finally be tuning out the Pro Bowl. The television ratings, usually ahead of any NBA or Major League Baseball playoff game before the championship round, took a big dip for the second straight year according to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily. The overnight ratings (which aren’t official, but just a first glance), according to Karp, were 5.6. That compares to 6.7 last year and 7.7 in 2013. Those are still huge numbers, compared to anything else ESPN was going to have in the Sunday night time slot, but it’s still a huge drop. The NFL probably made a mistake separating the teams into the tough-to-follow Team Irvin and Team Carter, with the players being selected in a draft the week leading up to the game. That format gives fans nobody to root for and it’s about impossible to keep the teams separated in your mind. Only a small percentage of people who watched the game likely can recall who won. The AFC vs. NFC format wasn’t creative, but it made the game easier to follow. The venue change could be a help if the NFL decides to move it around the contiguous United States rather than have it in Hawaii. That would expose the game to different fans. The game was, after all, a sellout in Arizona. But other than that, the game probably can’t be totally fixed. You can’t have a

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