A few former Vikings were part of the Super Bowl, but this weekend fans get to see current Vikings in the Pro Bowl, and it could be one of the last chances for the game in Hawaii.
With the 2008 NFL season in the books, all that remains is the playing of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The Vikings will be well-represented with Adrian Peterson
, Steve Hutchinson
, Jared Allen
, Pat Williams
, Kevin Williams
and Antoine Winfield
. While the game features many of the NFL's top stars, the fact it comes a month after the majority of teams have finished their season and is played a week after the Super Bowl, it isn't viewed as the all-star game it should be. In many respects, it is an afterthought.
The Pro Bowl has been an inherent problem because of the nature of the NFL. The other three major sports shut down operations for a few days in the middle of their respective seasons to let their stars come out to shine. In the NFL, that isn't possible or anything the league wishes to do. Added to that the potential for injury to star players to play a game that has no bearing on the standings, it makes no sense to play the Pro Bowl at midseason.
That isn't to say, however, that the league isn't trying to find a way to increase the interest in the Pro Bowl. Next year on a trial basis, the league is going to move the Pro Bowl from its longtime home in Honolulu to Miami to play the game in between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, effectively making the Pro Bowl the launching point for Super Bowl week.
The idea is an innovative step to find a way to increase interest in the Pro Bowl, because an all-star football game is a viable concept that should draw more fan interest than it does. But, placing it after the conclusion of the Super Bowl has always made it an anti-climax and somewhat irrelevant.
Leaders in Hawaii aren't pleased about the switch and hope that the game will return to Honolulu in 2011, but, if the 2010 version proves to be a success in its new and improved time slot, Sunday's game with its six-pack of Vikings just might be the last Pro Bowl of its kind in February in Hawaii.
For those who watched the Super Bowl, they saw that, just minutes before the opening kickoff, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner was presented with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Warner won out over Vikings center Matt Birk and Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins for the honor.
The overnight ratings for the Sunday's Super Bowl were down slightly from last year, but for sheer drama, Super Bowl XLIII had just about anything a fan could ask for in the big game, complete with a pair of lead changes in the final five minutes.
The Vikings still may have to sweat out Leslie Frazier returning to the team, as the Chiefs still have a coaching vacancy from an organization that waited almost a month after its season was completed to fire head coach Herm Edwards. However, many believe the delay was due to Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley being tied up with the Super Bowl and unable to interview for head-coaching jobs. With the season over, it is likely Haley will be meeting with the new front office of the Chiefs this week. Last week in The Kansas City Star, the paper ran a story that was essentially a resume of Haley's coaching career and why he would be the ideal man to move the Kansas City franchise forward into the next decade.
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson underwent a heart transplant Sunday. Richardson, 72, has been on a waiting list for a heart since December and got the call this weekend that a match had been located.
Reports are that the Jets won't meet with Brett Favre for at least a couple of weeks before they find out his decision about moving forward with the team.
In an interesting move, in order to let kids watch the Super Bowl and, in many instances, stay up past their usual bedtime on a Sunday night, schools in the Pittsburgh area opened two hours later than usual this morning to allow youngsters to watch the game. In hindsight, considering the finish, they're likely glad they let the kids stay up and watch – since the game wasn't decided until the final minute.