The 2014 NFL Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at 7:30 PM ET from Aloha Stadium in Hawaii on NBC. In an effort to revitalize waning fan interest in the game, the NFL is going with a non-conference format in which team General Managers and Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders drafted their teams.
The Pro Bowl draft provided some funny moments as players milled around for roughly three hours on Wednesday waiting to be drafted in the “green room” while frequently chiding each other in a show of camaraderie. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new format is that because Rice and Sanders could draft any Pro Bowl player, the final teams ended up with team mates facing off against each other, as was the case with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Guard Evan Mathis was the first Eagle selected by Jerry Rice in the first round on day one. Following the Mathis selection, Sanders drafted Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, while Rice picked running back LeSean McCoy on day two. The team of Mathis/Foles vs. Jackson/McCoy squaring off should be fun to watch as the winners get bragging rights for the remainder of the year and $53,000.00, while the losers get a $26,000.00 consolation prize.
DeSean Jackson is getting fired up for the win and believes his team has a better chance with the ball in his hands when he told reports,
“Get 10 the ball. Let me win that car for being the MVP. I’ve got some relationships with some of the coaches so I’ve been talking to them about making sure I have some touchdowns, get a lot of passes and do my thing. That’s all I really know.”
You’ve got to love Jackson’s competitive nature, even during an exhibition game. Jackson’s Pro Bowl opponent LeSean McCoy is taking a slightly different approach as he was mic’ed up during the Pro Bowl practice and was overheard yelling at his opposition,
“Take it easy baby! Same team! Same team!”
Regardless of the game’s outcome, it is clear to see the players are enjoying each other and the new format seems to have created an extra layer of intrigue. Fans are wise to enjoy the game as the saddest of all days quickly approaches, the end of the NFL season.
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