On Wednesday, the NFL Players Association and the league announced that the NFL's annual all-star game will be held at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii on Jan. 27 for the 2013 edition. Once again, the Pro Bowl will be the signature event leading up to the Super Bowl and this means that we have at least one more year of enduring this game. And hopefully, the results will be better this time around.
The AFC won the 2012 Pro Bowl by defeating the NFC 59-41. However, fans were very displeased with how the game was played, as they booed from the stands for its lack of intensity and competitiveness. To say the least, the match-up was a complete joke, as that has been the case for quite some time now. And NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted the overall efforts of both squads after the 2012 Pro Bowl when examining the future of the all-star game.
"I really didn't think that was the kind of football that we want to be demonstrating for our fans," Goodell said. "And you heard it from the fans. The fans were actively booing in the stands. They didn't like what they were seeing."
At one point it appeared as if the league was on the verge of suspending the Pro Bowl altogether. For fans, it might not have been that big of a loss, but the player's union wanted to keep the annual game going and preferred for it to remain in Hawaii.
"The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition," NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth said. "We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honored for their achievements on the field."
Despite the displeasure from the fans, the game remains a popular event to watch. The 2012 Pro Bowl was watched by an average of 12.5 million viewers, which was the second most-watched Pro Bowl since 2001. And even though viewership dropped 8.1 percent, it was still the second most-watched sports program from that weekend.
Last season the Bengals had four players travel to Hawaii for the event. Rookie wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton made their first trip to the Pro Bowl and Geno Atkins and Jermaine Gresham were also selected for the Pro Bowl. Players appear to be in favor of the Pro Bowl remaining as it gives players an opportunity to be rewarded for their efforts from the season.
"It's great that they decided to keep the game around. It is an awesome experience, and an honor to get to play in the game," said Andy Dalton. "And I'm glad they kept the game in Hawaii. It's a great reward at the end of the season."