Pro Bowl

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Pro Bowl
First played1951

Recent and upcoming games
2011 season
January 29, 2012 (Details)
2012 season
January 27, 2013 (Details)
 
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Pro Bowl
First played1951

Recent and upcoming games
2011 season
January 29, 2012 (Details)
2012 season
January 27, 2013 (Details)

In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). Since the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in 1970, it has been officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC).

Unlike most other sports leagues, which hold their all-star games during (roughly) the halfway point of their respective regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played at the end of the NFL season. The NFL's all-star game draws bigger television ratings than all other major sports all-star games. The 2012 Pro Bowl drew 13.5 million viewers.[1][2] However, the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the star players.[1] The Associated Press wrote that players in the 2012 game were "hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight."[3]

Contents

History of the Pro Bowl

The first "Pro All-Star Game," featuring the all-stars of the 1938 season (as well as three players from the Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Bulldogs, who were not members of the league), was played on January 15, 1939 at Los Angeles's Wrigley Field.[4][5] The NFL All-Star Game was played again in Los Angeles in 1940 and then in New York and Philadelphia in 1941 and 1942 respectively. Although originally planned as an annual contest, the all-star game was discontinued after 1942 because of travel restrictions put in place during World War II.[6] During the first five all-star games, an all-star team would face that year's league champion. The league champion won the first four games before the all-stars were victorious in the final game of this early series.

The concept of an all-star game would not be revived until June 1950, when the newly christened "Pro Bowl" was approved.[6] The game was sponsored by the Los Angeles Publishers Association. It was decided that the game would feature all-star teams from each of the league's two divisions rather than the league champion versus all-star format which had been used previously. This was done to avoid confusion with the Chicago College All-Star Game, an annual game which featured the league champion against a collegiate all-star team. The teams would be led by the coach of each of the division champions.[6]

The first twenty-one games of the series (19511972) were played in Los Angeles, California. The site of the game was changed annually for each of the next seven years before the game was moved to Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii for thirty consecutive seasons from 1980 through 2009. The 2010 Pro Bowl was played at Sun Life Stadium, the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins and host site of Super Bowl XLIV, on January 31, the first time ever that the Pro Bowl was held before the championship game, with the new rule that the conference teams do not include players from the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl. The 2011 and 2012 Pro Bowls were played again in Hawaii, but again held during the week before the Super Bowl.

League officials had expressed significant doubt about holding future Pro Bowls due to the poor quality of the 2012 contest but have scheduled the Pro Bowl for 2013. The league has already sold television rights to the game through 2022.

Player selection

Tackle during the 2006 Pro Bowl in Hawaii

Currently, players are voted into the Pro Bowl by the coaches, the players themselves, and the fans. Each group's ballots count for one third of the votes. The fans vote online at the NFL's official website. There are also replacements that go to the game should any selected player be unable to play due to injuries. Prior to 1995, only the coaches and the players made Pro Bowl selections.

In order to be considered a Pro Bowler for a given year, a player must either have been one of the initial players selected to the team, or a player who accepts an invitation to the Pro Bowl as an alternate; invited alternates who decline to attend are not considered Pro Bowlers. Being a Pro Bowler is considered to be a mark of honor, and players who are accepted into the Pro Bowl are considered to be elite.

The Pro Bowl head coaches are traditionally the head coaches of the teams that lost in the AFC and NFC championship games for the same season of the Pro Bowl in question (not the case for the 1980 and 1981 seasons, regarding the Pro Bowls played in 1981 and 1982). However, for the 2010 and 2011 Pro Bowls, a new rule was presented: The teams that lose in the divisional playoff game with the best regular-season record will have their coaching staffs lead their respective conference Pro Bowl team. If the losing teams of each conference had the same regular season record the coaches from the higher-seeded team will get the Pro Bowl honor.[7] This was, presumably, to allow the coaches more time with the players when the Pro Bowl is held during the week before the Super Bowl, since the conference championship losers would only have one week to prepare as opposed to three weeks when the Pro Bowl was held the week after the Super Bowl.[citation needed]

Game honors

A Player of the Game was honored from 1951–56. From 1957–71, awards were presented to both an Outstanding Back and an Outstanding Lineman. In 1972, there were awards for both an Outstanding Offensive Player and an Outstanding Defensive Player. From 1973–2007, only one Player of the Game award was honored (though three times this award has been presented to multiple players in a single game). In 2008 the award was changed to Most Valuable Player (MVP).[8] Since 1984 the winner has received the Dan McGuire Award.

Players are paid for participating in the game with the winning team receiving a larger payout. In the 2011 season, a record $50,000 was awarded for a win versus $25,000 for the losers.[3]

Rule differences

The Pro Bowl has different rules from other NFL games to make the game safer.[9][10]

Pro Bowl uniforms

Quarterback Peyton Manning (#18) before the 2006 Pro Bowl.

The teams are made of players from different NFL teams, so using their own uniforms would be too confusing. The players each wear the helmet of their team, but the home jerseys and pants are either a solid blue for the NFC or solid red for the AFC, while white jerseys with blue or red accents, respectively, for the away team. While it has been speculated that the color of Pro Bowl jerseys is determined by the winner of the Super Bowl, this is untrue. The design of Pro Bowl uniforms is changed every two years, and the color and white jerseys are rotated along with the design change. This has been Pro Bowl tradition since the switch to team specific helmets, which started with the January 1979 game. The two-year switch was originally created as a marketing ploy by Nike, and has been continued by Reebok, who won the merchandising contract in 2002. The early Pro Bowl, contested by the National Football League's Eastern and Western Division stars and played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, featured the same uniforms from the 1950s to mid-1960s; the Eastern team wore scarlet jerseys with white numerals and a white crescent shoulder stripe, white pants with red stripe, red socks, and a plain red helmet. The Western team wore white jerseys with royal-blue numerals and a Northwestern University-style triple stripe on the sleeves, white pants with blue stripe and socks and a plain blue helmet. Perhaps oddly, the Eastern team, wore home dark jerseys, although the host-city team, the Los Angeles Rams, were members of the Western Conference. From January 1967 to January 1970 both teams wore gold helmets with the NFL logo on the sides; the Eastern helmets featured a red-white-red tri-stripe and the Western a similar blue-white-blue tri-stripe. In fact the players brought their own game helmets to Los Angeles, which were then spray-painted and decorated for the contest. (For the 1970 game the helmets featured the 50 NFL logo, commemorating the league's half-century anniversary.)

In the earliest years of the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, the players did not wear their unique helmets, as they do now. The AFC All-Stars wore a solid red helmet with a white A on it, while the NFC players wore a solid white helmet with a blue N on it. The AFC's red helmets were paired with white jerseys and red pants, while the NFC's white helmets were paired with blue jerseys and white pants.

Two players with the same number who are elected to the Pro Bowl can now wear the same number for that game. This was not always the case in the past.

The 2008 Pro Bowl included a unique example of several players from the same team wearing the same number in a Pro Bowl. For the game, Washington Redskins players T Chris Samuels, TE Chris Cooley, and LS Ethan Albright all wore the number 21 (a number normally inappropriate for their positions) in memory of their teammate Sean Taylor, who had been murdered during the 2007 season.[11]

Game results

NFL All-Star Games (1939–1942)

No Most Valuable Player awards were presented during these games
SeasonDateScoreVenueAttendanceHead Coaches
1938January 15, 1939New York Giants 13, NFL All-Stars 10Wrigley Field, Los Angeles15,000[12]AS: Ray Flaherty (Washington) & Gus Henderson (Detroit)
NY: Steve Owen
1939January 14, 1940Green Bay Packers 16, NFL All-Stars 7Gilmore Stadium, Los Angeles18,000AS:Steve Owen (New York)
GB Curly Lambeau
1940December 29, 1940Chicago Bears 28, NFL All-Stars 14Gilmore Stadium, Los Angeles21,624AS:Ray Flaherty (Washington)
CB:George Halas
1941January 4, 1942Chicago Bears 35, NFL All-Stars 24Polo Grounds, New York City17,725AS:Steve Owen (New York)
CB:George Halas
1942December 27, 1942NFL All-Stars 17, Washington Redskins 14Shibe Park, Philadelphia18,671AS: Hunk Anderson (Chicago Bears)
Wash:Ray Flaherty

NFL Pro Bowls (1951–70)

SeasonDateScoreSeriesMost Valuable PlayersVenue[13]AttendanceHead CoachesTelevision
1950January 14, 1951American Conference 28, National Conference 27AC, 1-0Otto Graham, Cleveland Browns, QuarterbackLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum53,676AC: Paul Brown, Cleveland
NC:Joe Stydahar, Los Angeles
1951January 12, 1952[14]National Conference 30, American Conference 13Tied, 1-1Dan Towler, Los Angeles Rams, Running backLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum19,400AC: Paul Brown, Cleveland
NC:Joe Stydahar, Los Angeles
NBC
1952January 10, 1953[14]National Conference 27, American Conference 7NC, 2-1Don Doll, Detroit Lions, Defensive backLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum34,208AC: Paul Brown, Cleveland
NC:Buddy Parker, Detroit
NBC
1953January 17, 1954East 20, West 9Tied, 2-2Chuck Bednarik, Philadelphia Eagles, LinebackerLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum44,214EC: Paul Brown, Cleveland
WC: Buddy Parker, Detroit
DuMont
1954January 16, 1955West 26, East 19West, 3-2Billy Wilson, San Francisco 49ers, EndLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum43,972EC: Jim Trimble, Philadelphia
WC:Buck Shaw, San Francisco
1955January 15, 1956East 31, West 30Tied, 3-3Ollie Matson, Chicago Cardinals, Running backLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum37,867EC: Joe Kuharich, Washington
WC: Sid Gillman, Los Angeles
1956January 13, 1957West 19, East 10West, 4-3Back: Bert Rechichar, Baltimore Colts
Lineman: Ernie Stautner, Pittsburgh Steelers
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum44,177EC:Jim Lee Howell, New York
WC: Paddy Driscoll, Chicago Bears
1957January 12, 1958West 26, East 7West, 5-3Back: Hugh McElhenny, San Francisco 49ers
Lineman: Gene Brito, Washington Redskins
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum66,634EC: Buddy Parker, Pittsburgh
WC:George Wilson, Detroit
NBC
1958January 11, 1959East 28, West 21West, 5-4Back: Frank Gifford, New York Giants
Lineman: Doug Atkins, Chicago Bears
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum72,250EC:Jim Lee Howell, New York
WC:Weeb Ewbank, Baltimore
NBC
1959January 17, 1960West 38, East 21West, 6-4Back: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts
Lineman: Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, Pittsburgh Steelers
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum56,876EC:Buck Shaw, Philadelphia
WC:Red Hickey, San Francisco
NBC
1960January 15, 1961West 35, East 31West, 7-4Back: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts
Lineman: Sam Huff, New York Giants
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum62,971EC:Buck Shaw, Philadelphia
WC:Vince Lombardi, Green Bay
NBC
1961January 14, 1962West 31, East 30West, 8-4Back: Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
Lineman: Henry Jordan, Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum57,409EC: Allie Sherman, New York
WC:Norm Van Brocklin, Minnesota
NBC
1962January 13, 1963East 30, West 20West, 8-5Back: Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
Lineman: Eugene Lipscomb, Pittsburgh Steelers
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum61,374EC: Allie Sherman, New York
WC: Vince Lombardi, Green Bay
NBC
1963January 12, 1964West 31, East 17West, 9-5Back: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts
Lineman: Gino Marchetti, Baltimore Colts
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum67,242EC: Allie Sherman, New York
WC:George Halas, Chicago
NBC
1964January 10, 1965West 34, East 14West, 10-5Back: Fran Tarkenton, Vikings
Lineman: Terry Barr, Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum60,598EC: Blanton Collier, Cleveland
WC:Don Shula, Baltimore
NBC
1965January 15, 1966East 36, West 7West, 10-6Back: Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
Lineman: Dale Meinert, St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum60,124EC: Blanton Collier, Cleveland
WC: Vince Lombardi, Green Bay
CBS
1966January 22, 1967East 20, West 10West, 10-7Back: Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
Lineman: Floyd Peters, Philadelphia Eagles
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum15,062EC: Tom Landry, Dallas
WC: George Allen, Los Angeles
CBS
1967January 21, 1968West 38, East 20West, 11-7Back: Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
Lineman: Dave Robinson, Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum53,289EC:Otto Graham, Washington
WC: Don Shula, Baltimore
CBS
1968January 19, 1969West 10, East 7West, 12-7Back: Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams
Lineman: Merlin Olsen, Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum32,050EC: Tom Landry, Dallas
WC: George Allen, Los Angeles
CBS
1969January 18, 1970West 16, East 13West, 13-7Back: Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
Lineman: George Andrie, Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum57,786EC: Tom Fears, New Orleans
WC:Norm Van Brocklin, Atlanta
CBS

AFC–NFC Pro Bowls (1971–present)

SeasonDateScoreSeriesMost Valuable Player(s)VenueAttendanceHead CoachesTelevision
1970January 24, 1971NFC, 27-6NFC, 1-0Lineman: Fred Carr, Packers
Back: Mel Renfro, Cowboys
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California48,222AFC: John Madden, Oakland
NFC: Dick Nolan, San Francisco
CBS
1971January 23, 1972AFC, 26-13Tied, 1-1Defense: Willie Lanier, Chiefs
Offense: Jan Stenerud, Chiefs
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California53,647AFC: Don McCafferty, Baltimore
NFC: Dick Nolan, San Francisco
NBC
1972January 21, 1973AFC, 33-28AFC, 2-1O.J. Simpson, Bills, Running backTexas Stadium, Irving, Texas37,091AFC: Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh
NFC: Tom Landry, Dallas
CBS
1973January 20, 1974AFC, 15-13AFC, 3-1Garo Yepremian, Dolphins, PlacekickerArrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri66,918AFC: John Madden, Oakland
NFC: Tom Landry, Dallas
NBC
1974January 20, 1975[15]NFC, 17-10NFC, 3-2James Harris, Rams, QuarterbackMiami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida26,484AFC: John Madden, Oakland
NFC: Chuck Knox, Los Angeles
ABC
1975January 26, 1976[15]NFC, 23-20Tied, 3-3Billy Johnson, Oilers, Kick returnerLouisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana30,546AFC: John Madden, Oakland
NFC: Chuck Knox, Los Angeles
ABC
1976January 17, 1977[15]AFC, 24-14AFC, 4-3Mel Blount, Steelers, CornerbackThe Kingdome, Seattle, Washington64,752AFC: Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh
NFC: Chuck Knox, Los Angeles
ABC
1977January 23, 1978[15]NFC, 14-13Tied, 4-4Walter Payton, Bears, Running backTampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida51,337AFC: John Madden, Oakland
NFC: Bud Grant, Minnesota
ABC
1978January 29, 1979[15]NFC, 13-7NFC, 5-4Ahmad Rashad, Vikings, Wide receiverLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California46,281AFC: Bum Phillips, Houston
NFC: Ray Malavasi, Los Angeles
ABC
1979January 27, 1980NFC, 37-27NFC, 6-4Chuck Muncie, Saints, Running backAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii49,800AFC: Bum Phillips, Houston
NFC: John McKay, Tampa Bay
ABC
1980February 1, 1981NFC, 21-7NFC, 7-4Eddie Murray, Lions, PlacekickerAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,360AFC: Sam Rutigliano, Cleveland
NFC: Leeman Bennett, Atlanta
ABC
1981January 31, 1982AFC, 16-13AFC, 7-5Lee Roy Selmon, Buccaneers, Defensive end
Kellen Winslow, Chargers, Tight end
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,402AFC: Don Shula, Miami
NFC: John McKay, Tampa Bay
ABC
1982February 6, 1983NFC, 20-19NFC, 8-5Dan Fouts, Chargers, Quarterback
John Jefferson, Packers, Wide receiver
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii49,883AFC: Walt Michaels, N.Y. Jets
NFC: Tom Landry, Dallas
ABC
1983January 29, 1984NFC, 45-3NFC, 9-5Joe Theismann, Redskins, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,445AFC: Chuck Knox, Seattle
NFC: Bill Walsh, San Francisco
ABC
1984January 27, 1985AFC, 22-14NFC, 9-6Mark Gastineau, Jets, Defensive endAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,385AFC: Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh
NFC: Mike Ditka, Chicago
ABC
1985February 2, 1986NFC, 28-24NFC, 10-6Phil Simms, Giants, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,101AFC: Don Shula, Miami
NFC: John Robinson, L.A. Rams
ABC
1986February 1, 1987AFC, 10-6NFC, 10-7Reggie White, Eagles, Defensive endAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,101AFC: Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland
NFC: Joe Gibbs, Washington
ABC
1987February 7, 1988AFC, 15-6NFC, 10-8Bruce Smith, Bills, Defensive endAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,113AFC: Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland
NFC: Jerry Burns, Minnesota
ESPN
1988January 29, 1989NFC, 34-3NFC, 11-8Randall Cunningham, Eagles, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,113AFC: Marv Levy, Buffalo
NFC: Mike Ditka, Chicago
ESPN
1989February 4, 1990NFC, 27-21NFC, 12-8Jerry Gray, Rams, CornerbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,445AFC: Bud Carson, Cleveland
NFC: John Robinson, L.A. Rams
ESPN
1990February 3, 1991AFC, 23-21NFC, 12-9Jim Kelly, Bills, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,345AFC: Art Shell, L.A. Raiders
NFC: George Seifert, San Francisco
ESPN
1991February 2, 1992NFC, 21-15NFC, 13-9Michael Irvin, Cowboys, Wide receiverAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,209AFC: Dan Reeves, Denver
NFC: Wayne Fontes, Detroit
ESPN
1992February 7, 1993AFC, 23-20 (OT)NFC, 13-10Steve Tasker, Bills, Special teamsAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,007AFC: Don Shula, Miami
NFC: George Seifert, San Francisco
ESPN
1993February 6, 1994NFC, 17-3NFC, 14-10Andre Rison, Falcons, Wide receiverAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,026AFC: Marty Schottenheimer, Kansas City
NFC: George Seifert, San Francisco
ESPN
1994February 5, 1995AFC, 41-13NFC, 14-11Marshall Faulk, Colts, Running backAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii49,121AFC: Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh
NFC: Barry Switzer, Dallas
ABC
1995February 4, 1996NFC, 20-13NFC, 15-11Jerry Rice, 49ers, Wide receiverAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,034AFC: Ted Marchibroda, Indianapolis
NFC: Mike Holmgren, Green Bay
ABC
1996February 2, 1997AFC, 26-23 (OT)NFC, 15-12Mark Brunell, Jaguars, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,031AFC: Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville
NFC: Dom Capers, Carolina
ABC
1997February 1, 1998AFC, 29-24NFC, 15-13Warren Moon, Seahawks, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii49,995AFC: Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh
NFC: Steve Mariucci, San Francisco
ABC
1998February 7, 1999AFC, 23-10NFC, 15-14Keyshawn Johnson, Jets, Wide receiver
Ty Law, Patriots, Cornerback
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,075AFC: Bill Belichick,[16] N.Y. Jets
NFC: Dennis Green, Minnesota
ABC
1999February 6, 2000NFC, 51-31NFC, 16-14Randy Moss, Vikings, Wide receiverAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,112AFC: Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville
NFC: Tony Dungy, Tampa Bay
ABC
2000February 4, 2001AFC, 38-17NFC, 16-15Rich Gannon, Raiders, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,128AFC: Jon Gruden, Oakland
NFC: Dennis Green, Minnesota
ABC
2001February 9, 2002[14]AFC, 38-30Tied, 16-16Rich Gannon, Raiders, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,301AFC: Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh
NFC: Andy Reid, Philadelphia
ABC
2002February 2, 2003AFC, 45-20AFC, 17-16Ricky Williams, Dolphins, Running backAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,125AFC: Jeff Fisher, Tennessee
NFC: Andy Reid, Philadelphia
ABC
2003February 8, 2004NFC, 55-52Tied, 17-17Marc Bulger, Rams, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,127AFC: Tony Dungy, Indianapolis
NFC: Andy Reid, Philadelphia
ESPN
2004February 13, 2005AFC, 38-27AFC, 18-17Peyton Manning, Colts, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,225AFC: Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh
NFC: Jim L. Mora, Atlanta
ESPN
2005February 12, 2006NFC 23-17Tied, 18-18Derrick Brooks, Buccaneers, LinebackerAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,190AFC: Mike Shanahan, Denver
NFC: John Fox, Carolina
ESPN
2006February 10, 2007[14]AFC 31-28AFC, 19-18Carson Palmer, Bengals, QuarterbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,410AFC: Bill Belichick, New England
NFC: Sean Payton, New Orleans
CBS
2007February 10, 2008NFC 42-30Tied, 19-19Adrian Peterson, Vikings, Running BackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii50,044AFC: Norv Turner, San Diego,
NFC: Mike McCarthy, Green Bay
Fox
2008February 8, 2009NFC 30-21NFC 20-19Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, Wide receiverAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii49,958AFC: John Harbaugh, Baltimore
NFC: Andy Reid, Philadelphia
NBC
2009January 31, 2010AFC 41-34Tied, 20-20Matt Schaub, Texans, QuarterbackSun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida70,697AFC: Norv Turner, San Diego
NFC: Wade Phillips, Dallas
ESPN
2010January 30, 2011NFC 55-41NFC 21-20DeAngelo Hall, Redskins, CornerbackAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii[17]49,338AFC: Bill Belichick, New England
NFC: Mike Smith, Atlanta
Fox
2011January 29, 2012AFC 59-41Tied 21-21Brandon Marshall, Dolphins, Wide ReceiverAloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii[17]48,423AFC: Gary Kubiak, Houston
NFC: Mike McCarthy, Green Bay
NBC
2012January 27, 2013TBATied 21-21TBAAloha Stadium, Honolulu, HawaiiTBAAFC: TBA
NFC: TBA
NBC

Stadiums that have hosted the Pro Bowl

Records

Appearances

This is a list of players with most Pro Bowl selections. Players listed in bold type are currently active as of the 2011 season.

NumberPlayerPositionSeasons by teamYear of induction into
Pro Football Hall of Fame
14Bruce MatthewsOLHouston Oilers / Tennessee Oilers / Tennessee Titans (19832001)2007
14Merlin OlsenDTLos Angeles Rams (19621976)1982
13Jerry RiceWRSan Francisco 49ers (19852000)
Oakland Raiders (20012004)
Seattle Seahawks (2004)
2010
13Reggie WhiteDEPhiladelphia Eagles (19851992)
Green Bay Packers (19931998)
Carolina Panthers (2000)
2006
13Ray LewisLBBaltimore Ravens (1996–present)Still active
12Tony GonzalezTEKansas City Chiefs (19972008)
Atlanta Falcons (2009–present)
Still active
12Ken HoustonSHouston Oilers (19671972)
Washington Redskins (19731980)
1986
12Randall McDanielOLMinnesota Vikings (19881999)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20002001)
2009
12Junior SeauLBSan Diego Chargers (19902002)
Miami Dolphins (20032005)
New England Patriots (20062009)
Not eligible
12Will ShieldsOLKansas City Chiefs (19932006)Not yet nominated
11Larry AllenOLDallas Cowboys (19942005)
San Francisco 49ers (20062007)
Not eligible
11Champ BaileyDBWashington Redskins (19992003)
Denver Broncos (2004–present)
Still active
11Derrick BrooksLBTampa Bay Buccaneers (19952008)Not eligible
11Brett FavreQBAtlanta Falcons (1991)
Green Bay Packers (19922007)
New York Jets (2008)
Minnesota Vikings (20092010)
Not eligible
11Bob LillyDTDallas Cowboys (19611974)1980
11Peyton ManningQBIndianapolis Colts (19982011)Still active
11Gino MarchettiDEDallas Texans (1953)
Baltimore Colts (19531966)
1972
11Anthony MuñozOLCincinnati Bengals (19801992)1998
11Jonathan OgdenOLBaltimore Ravens (19962007)Not eligible
11Willie RoafOLNew Orleans Saints (19932001)
Kansas City Chiefs (20022005)
2012
11Bruce SmithDEBuffalo Bills (19851999)
Washington Redskins (20002003)
2009
11Rod WoodsonDBPittsburgh Steelers (19871996)
San Francisco 49ers (1997)
Baltimore Ravens (19982001)
Oakland Raiders (20022003)
2009

Television

Blackout of game in Hawaii

Although Hawaii does not have a NFL team of its own, the Pro Bowl is still subject to the NFL's blackout policies, requiring the game to be blacked out within the state of Hawaii if it does not sell out all of its seats.[20][21] This restriction was not in effect in Hawaii for the 2010 game, but was transferred to the Miami media market.

Criticism

Lack of quality

For decades, the Pro Bowl has been criticized as a glamour event more than a football game. This is due to two causes: the voluntary nature of the game, and the understandable fear of player injury.

While players are financially compensated for participating in the Pro Bowl, for a star player, the pay can be less than 1% of their salary. Many star players have excused themselves from participation over the years, meaning that the very best players are not necessarily featured. This problem—of not having the best players in the game—was only exacerbated by the introduction of fan voting (see section below).

Another criticism of the game is that the players—particularly on defense—are not playing "full speed". This is because player injury plays a much greater part in a team's success in the NFL as compared to the other major American sports. For this reason, unlike the NBA, NHL, and MLB (which host their all-star events as a mid-season break), the Pro Bowl was historically held after the completion of the season and playoffs. This means that a player injured in the Pro Bowl would have at least six months to rehab before the next season begins. However, starting in 2010, the Pro Bowl was moved from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl. Because of the above-noted fear of injury, players from the two teams participating in the Super Bowl were banned from participation, meaning that the absence of star players was only increased.

With the dearth of stars making the game the subject of much derision (SI.com refused to even include one pre-game story on the event in 2012), the players on the field appear to be taking it less seriously as well. In the 2012 game, the lack of defensive effort was apparent, not only to anyone watching the game, but to anyone who saw the score—100 points were scored in the game. One NFL player watching the game said, "They probably should have just put flags on them,",[[22] indicating that game was about on the level of a child's game of flag football. The situation has grown so bad that Commissioner Roger Goodell has acknowledged that he is considering eliminating the game altogether. [23]

Selection process

Fan voting has increased criticism of the Pro Bowl. Voting by fans makes up 1/3 of the vote for Pro Bowl players. Some teams earn more selections of their players because fans often vote for their favorite team and not necessarily the best player. In the 2008 Pro Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys had thirteen players on the NFC roster, an NFL record. "If you're in a small market, no one really gets to see you play," said Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield, who spent much of his early career with the small-market Buffalo Bills. "If you're a quiet guy, it's hard to get the attention. You just have to work hard and play." Winfield made the Pro Bowl in 2008 after ten seasons of being shut out.[24]

The player voting has also been subject to significant criticism. It is not uncommon for the players to pick the same players over and over again; former offensive lineman (and SI.com analyst) Ross Tucker has cited politics, incumbency, and compensation for injury in previous years as primary factors in player's choices among themselves. Thus, players who have seen their play decline with age will still be perennially elected to the Pro Bowl due to their popularity among the players, a situation particularly common among positions such as the offensive line, where few statistics are available.[25]

Some players have had a surprisingly small number of Pro Bowl selections despite distinguished careers. Hall of fame running back John Riggins was only selected once in his career from 1971-1985. He was not selected in the year where he set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season and his team made it to the Super Bowl (though he did make the all-pro team). Hall of fame linebacker Ray Nitschke only made the Pro Bowl once, despite being named all-pro seven times and being the MVP of the 1962 NFL Championship Game. Defensive Back Ken Riley never made the Pro Bowl in his 15 seasons, even though he recorded 65 interceptions, the fourth highest total in NFL history at the time of his retirement. Former Jacksonville Jaguars halfback Fred Taylor, who is 15th in all-time rushing yards, was elected to his only Pro Bowl in 2007 despite averaging 4.6 yards per carry for his career, better than all but five running backs ranked in the top 30 in all-time rushing.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "NFC reels in five picks to throttle AFC in Pro Bowl". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 30, 2011. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=310130032. Retrieved January 31, 2011. "The NFC's 55-41 victory, a game not nearly as interesting as that score would indicate, did nothing to repair the tattered image of the NFL's all-star contest." 
  2. ^ Fletcher, Dan (January 29, 2010). "Is the NFL Pro Bowl Broken?". Time. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1957574,00.html. Retrieved January 31, 2011. "While the Pro Bowl managed to sell out Dolphins Stadium, the game usually pulls down mediocre TV ratings; it's the only major all-star game that draws lower ratings than regular-season matchups." 
  3. ^ a b "Brandon Marshall catches Pro Bowl-record 4 TDs in AFC's win". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 30, 2012. Archived from the original on January 30, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/655HE89AZ. 
  4. ^ Crawford, Fred R. (1990). "The First Pro Bowl Game" (PDF). The Coffin Corner 12 (4). Archived from the original on January 31, 2012. http://www.profootballresearchers.org/Coffin_Corner/12-04-407.pdf. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ Gill, Bob (1983). "The Best Of The Rest: Part One" (PDF). The Coffin Corner 5 (11). Archived from the original on January 31, 2012. http://www.profootballresearchers.org/Coffin_Corner/05-11-162.pdf. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Pro Bowl game approved by National Grid League". The Palm Beach Post. AP: p. 21. June 4, 1950. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=evQiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Ds0FAAAAIBAJ&dq=pro%20bowl&pg=1317%2C3616331. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Wyche, Steve (2009-12-28). "Pro Bowl selections, like game itself, will have new wrinkles". NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/probowl/story?id=09000d5d81554233&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  8. ^ "All-Time Results". 2011 NFL Pro Bowl Official Game Program (NFL Publishing): 191-92. 2011. http://www.probowlgameprogram-nfl-hozimman.com/probowlgameprogram/2011#pg194. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ "2011 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl Facts and Figures". http://www.blogandtackle.net/2011/01/27/2011-afc-nfc-pro-bowl-facts-and-figures/. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  10. ^ "2011 Pro Bowl: Time, Announcers, Rosters And More For NFL's All-Star Event". http://boston.sbnation.com/new-england-patriots/2011/1/30/1964417/pro-bowl-2011-time-probowl-rosters-coaches-afc-nfc-rules-weather. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  11. ^ a b Corbett, Jim (2008-02-11). "Peterson helps NFC roar back for Pro Bowl crown". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-02-10-pro-bowl_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  12. ^ "Giants Beat Stars; Ward Cuff Is Hero". Milwaukee Journal. UP: p. L-7. January 16, 1939. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bapQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=GiIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6408%2C3438343. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "The 1952 Pro Bowl". http://www.mmbolding.com/BSR/The_1952_Pro_Bowl.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  14. ^ a b c d Saturday game.
  15. ^ a b c d e Monday night game.
  16. ^ Filled in for then-Jets head coach Bill Parcells
  17. ^ a b "2010-11 NFL Calendar". Nfl.com. http://www.nfl.com/more/nflcalendar. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  18. ^ http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/history/pdfs/Records/Pro_Bowl_Recs_2011.pdf
  19. ^ Molloy, Tim and Lucas Shaw (September 8, 2011). 'Monday Night Football' to Remain on ESPN Through 2021. The Wrap. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  20. ^ NFL lifts TV blackout as Pro Bowl nears sell out[dead link]
  21. ^ Pro Bowl Blackout Date Extended (KHOU-TV)
  22. ^ http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/30/brett-keisel-on-the-pro-bowl-they-should-have-just-put-flags-on-players/]
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ Jemele Hill (2008-12-09). "Take away the fan vote". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hill/081209&sportCat=nfl. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  25. ^ Tucker, Ross. NFL Pro Bowl voting among players should be consistent. SI.com

External links