The History of the Pro Bowl
The Pro Bowl officially began back in 1951, but it was known for quite awhile as the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, designating the two conferences and teams involved in the match-up. The Pro Bowl has consistently drawn lower ratings than regular season games, which led to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to consider canceling it back in 2012.
But the Pro Bowl has gone on to live another day, moving from Los Angeles to Hawaii to Miami (then back to Hawaii again) in an attempt to draw interest. For years, the Pro Bowl was played one week after the Super Bowl. However, this changed in 2010 when the NFL decided the game may fair better if it were to air one week before the Super Bowl. Additionally, the teams were to no longer be split according to the AFC and NFC – they would be determined by “team captains,” who happen to be alumni of the NFL.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the way that the players are picked. Coaches, players and football fans can all vote for specific players to play in the Pro Bowl. However, the player does not have to play in the game if he chooses to decline the invitation, and an alternate may play in his place.
Tailgating the Pro Bowl
In another twist, the 2015 Pro Bowl has been slated to occur in Glendale, Az., which is the site of this year’s Super Bowl (no ticket to Hawaii for the players). If you’re lucky enough to attend, there is a specific area dedicated to tailgating known as The Great Lawn – head here for good eats and mingling with other football fans. Ray’s Bar and Margaritaville are a few blocks from the stadium if you want some grub and drinks before kickoff.
If you’ll be tailgating at home, wear your team jersey – the Pro Bowl is everyone’s chance to root for their favorites! With a five-layer dip and a couple of cold ones, you’ll be ready to cheer on the league’s best players.
This year’s Pro Bowl will take place on January 25 at 6 p.m. EST.
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