WRITTEN BY FRANK STAMPFL
The Pro Bowl, the NFL’s rendition of a professional All-Star game will be taking place Sunday, Jan. 29 in Honolulu.
Some of the game’s most talented stars take place in this event year in and year out. As usual, 2012 is no different. This game gives the fans a chance to see their favorite players team up with players of other teams that they are not accustomed to.
To add some fun and entertainment to this year’s game, the NFL has incorporated a new aspect. There will be computer stations set up on the sidelines so that players can tweet during timeouts to communicate with their followers.
The NFL is usually very strict about Twitter and sideline activities, however, the laid-back atmosphere of the Pro Bowl caused the league to make an exception. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start at quarterback for the AFC squad while the NFL’s leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville) and rookie wide receiver A.J. Green (Bengals) will be some of his weapons.
Their defense has elite players such as cornerback Darrelle Revis (Jets), Dwight Freeney (Colts), Ray Lewis (Ravens) and others. Managing the 43-man AFC roster will be the Houston Texans coaching staff, led by head coach Gary Kubiak. Both the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots had the most Pro Bowlers in the AFC with eight. Since no Patriots can play because they are in the Super Bowl and the Ravens suffered some injuries last week, the Steelers now have the most Pro Bowlers in the AFC with seven.
The AFC is unquestioningly talented but many other elite players who were selected to this team chose to opt out due to injury or mourning a losing season.The NFC stars on offense are Aaron Rodgers (Packers), LeSean McCoy (Eagles) and tight end Jimmy Graham(Saints), who had a breakout season in 2011.
Some studs on defense include the NFL’s sack leader Jared Allen (Vikings), linebackers Clay Matthews (Packers) and Patrick Willis (49ers) plus many more.
The NFC will be coached by Mike McCarthy and his fellow staff, which led the Packers to the best record in the regular season (15-1). The teams that have the most players participating in the Pro Bowl from the NFC are the Packers and 49ers with six each.
Due to those players dropping out of the Pro Bowl, this year’s game will be taking an unexpected twist. A rookie Quarterback from both the AFC and the NFC has been selected. They are Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers for the NFC.
The Pro Bowl is generally a high scoring game. The final score in 2011 was 55-41, which the NFC won. The previous final score was 41-31 and the AFC won that year. Since the conferences became the AFC and NFC back in 1971, the NFC has a 21-20 edge in the series.
The game starts at 7pm on NBC.