After recent threats of cancelling professional football’s all-star game, NFL executives and Commissioner Roger Goodell have decided to keep the game in its yearly schedule. The NFL Pro Bowl is an exhibition game between stars within the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. Selection to participate in the annual event is an honor for players, and primarily signifies recognition of superior on-field performance.
The Pro Bowl for the 2012-13 NFL season is set to take place on Sunday, January 27, 2013, at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI. The all-star game is scheduled one week before Super Bowl XLVII (47), which will take place in New Orleans. This will be the 33rd installment of the Pro Bowl to be held in Hawaii. Tickets for the event went on sale to the general public on Monday, November 19, and are available now through many ticket outlets.
Earlier in the year, Commissioner Goodell expressed concerns regarding fans’ disappointment in previous Pro Bowl games. According to ESPN, “Goodell had made it clear that canceling the game was a possibility after the uninspired play of this year’s 59-41 AFC victory.” Representatives of the NFL and its Players’ Association recently met to discuss the all-star game, and the players have assured executives that the game will be more competitive in the hopes of appeasing dissatisfied fans.
According to ESPN, television ratings for the 2012 Pro Bowl were high, but the players’ “lack of intensity drew criticism from all sides.” NFL Executive Vice President Ray Anderson said, “we have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards; the players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.”
Rosters for the Pro Bowl are voted upon by coaches, players, and fans. Voting ballots are currently open on the NFL’s official website for the Pro Bowl. According to a recent vote count from the NFL, Denver Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning has gained the most votes thus far, with 376,981. Tom Brady, QB for the New England Patriots, holds second place, followed by Arian Foster (RB, Houston Texans), Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay Packers), and Adrian Peterson (RB, Minnesota Vikings). Cincinnati Bengals’ Wide Receiver A.J. Green is in sixth place, with Rob Gronkowski (TE, New England Patriots), Victor Cruz (WR, New York Giants), Matt Ryan (QB, Atlanta Falcons), and Drew Brees (QB, New Orleans Saints) rounding out the top ten.
Voting for this season’s Pro Bowl players will conclude on the night of Monday, December 17, following the Monday Night Football game between the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans. Pro Bowl rosters for the NFC and AFC will be announced Wednesday, December 26, on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access at 7:00 p.m. ET.