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The Pro Bowl Experience: Was it worth it, HELL NO!

Tonight’s game was solid, that was the only thing worth a damn.

Tonight, myself, my nephews Luis and Jaden, my son Jomar and my brother in law all went to the Pro Bowl in Orlando. I must say a couple years back we had a blast. The NFL did a great job, and although it was super cold, we were able to meet some players after the game and get an autograph, and we also met LeJuan James a funny comedian on Facebook/YouTube. Well this year it was not the best.

When walking in the stadium, there were signs that said Mike Vick is a Dick, they said NFL “National Felony League”, they had their dogs out and were petitioning so our kids could see it. Great stuff……

The game this year was great, it was exciting! There was quite a bit of scoring, the girls at halftime tackled harder than the guys at the Pro Bowl.

We purchased tickets in P16 and let me tell you they were pretty solid seats. I liked the game portion. Early in the process though we learned that Kobe Bryant had passed away in a helicopter accident. I could not believe it, but they did end up announcing it at halftime and the fans began chanting “Thank You Kobe”.

Around halftime, we left our seats and moved down because we had to get something to eat. We went to Johnny Rockets, we bought 5 hotdogs, 2 fries and two drinks it came to 53 dollars. That was rough, but you have to expect that at a stadium, the lady working at Johnny Rockets was rude as hell but hey, I mean I would be upset too if I could not see the game.

We went to the fun zone and they were painting faces for kids, but the game was moving rather fast. So we decided to head downstairs to see if we could get passes for the post game experience, we noticed it when we were coming it. They had big yellow signs saying they were having this big post game experience.

We went downstairs and there was a man selling these yellow wristbands. Me and my brother in law got pumped because my nephew Luis wanted to meet a football player so bad. He did not care who, he is autistic, you have heard me talk about him in the past if you follow my Timeline on Twitter, even though he is a huge Patriots fan, he really wanted to meet Lamar Jackson. He just wanted to know why he had to beat the Patriots in the playoffs. So we asked the guy how much these tickets were and he said 75 dollars a piece.

That seemed a bit pricey, but imagine if you could meet Lamar Jackson and get a photo with him for your nephew who you bought the tickets for because it was his birthday. That would be priceless. So we chucked out the money and bought five tickets at 75 a piece. Yes, 375 cash. The man handed us the yellow bracelets and he told us to get in line. We sat there through the entire fourth quarter.

About 2 minutes left in the game, they come to us and tell us that if you have a yellow bracelet you need to stand in line. The game finished, and they ran out these huge podiums out on the field. These had the Pro Bowl emblem on them and then they brought in gates. They set up the gates at the far end of the stadium (the opposite end of the tunnels for the players) and they let us in. We had no problem, we were able to get into the Pro Bowl’s Post Game Experience!!!

We were so excited, we ran up to the gate, we held a spot down and we waited for players. We bought a program for 10 dollars each for the three kids so they could get autographs. I had my camera ready. My nephews and son were PUMPED!!!

We waited patiently, one player was standing at the podium for quite some time. That was Calais Campbell, but guess what he didn’t sign for anyone, he took some pictures and left the field. Someone said Geno Atkins and Morgan Fox signed an autograph for a couple people. They also said that Jared Cooks signed autographs for the people on the walls but they didn’t pay for the experience.

To make a long story short the experience was walking on the field and paying 375 dollars. Now, I know Kobe Bryant passed away and maybe the players just wanted to leave because they were sad, and while I feel bad for him passing I also feel bad that I am out 375 dollars. I went to guest services on the way out because I had to voice my displeasure. I mean, I paid 375 dollars to meet players and have an experience of a lifetime, from the NFL at Camping World Stadium.

Well, there were about 15 people in line in front of me. I was standing there and guess what, they too were complaining about this Pro Bowl Experience. Guess what, they bought tickets from a guy inside the stadium that told them they would be guaranteed to meet players and get autographs. They called the head of security because let’s face it, we wanted answers. The head of security came down and said who did you buy the experience from? Everyone said the same thing, a man wearing a yellow shirt that said Event Staff on it. The head of security said, we don’t sell them inside.

Well, it sounds like we just uncovered a damn scam. Some man was posted up selling us these passes, and collecting money. My dumbass bought 5 at 75 dollars, the other people around me paid 30 a piece. Guess what though, the guy sold me my ticket that was 072498, and one other man there had a ticket that was 07258. Just think if every one of those 60 in between paid 30 to 75 dollars someone got paid. They took our information and said they would review the film and call us back. We have the head of security’s number and we will see what they do. I feel like I was ripped off. I am not going to lie. They should not advertise something saying it is a great experience and then not have any players at the event. I am sorry, I blame the NFL, Camping World Stadium and myself. I should have known better.

I will say this too, it is pretty sad that football fans pay ton of money to get a players autograph or take a photo with him, yet they do not come out to do it. I blame them too, I know they are the best of the best, but the fans voted you into this game. I mean five minutes is not going to kill you.

If you were to ask me what I think about the game and would I go back. I would go back, if it was FREE. If I had to pay for that again I would not do it. I feel bad for my nephew Luis. All he wanted was to meet a player and get a photo with one. I mean he was not asking for them to give him anything. I was robbed today, there was no gun involved, but I had money and happiness took from me.

So what do I think of the Pro Bowl? I think they need to do better. Time to fix the set-up or get rid of it. Sorry for the rant, God Bless.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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