By Bryan Mongeau-Eastmond
NEW YORK (RushPRnews) 2/09/09– When you think of the Pro Bowl, you think of Hawaii. Nice weather, smiles all around and familiar faces. Yes, life is good for the elite players whoâ€™ve earned a trip to football paradise. As usual the Pro Bowl, which matches the best players from the AFC against the NFC, became increasingly competitive as we neared the fourth quarter. Despite a strong effort from both squads, the NFC took advantage of numerous AFC miscues (players do not have enough time to gel togther) and rallied to beat them 30-21.
Vikings RB and last yearâ€™s Pro Bowl MVP Adrian Peterson particularly enjoyed his trip to Hawaii as he was a major contributor in helping his team cruise to victory in 2008. This time around, Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald was the one who made sure his team would prevail.
He finished with five catches, 81 yards and two touchdowns andÂ became the first player in Cardinals franchise history to win Pro Bowl MVP . The NFC now leads the overall series, 20-19.
Ironically, Fitzgerald’s first touchdown came on a 46-yard heave with the clock having expired at the end of the first half. Just last week during Super Bowl Sunday, it was James Harrison who scored against Fitzgerald’s Cardinals with no time remaining on the clock during the first half.
Of course the objective of these games is to unwind and put on a good show for the fans. But for how long? The competitive nature that drives these athletes during the course of the regular season eventually takes over and at the end both teams are trying to come out the winner.
Nine time-time Pro Bowl selection Peyton Manning led all passers with a 151 yards and one touchdown. Younger brother, Eli Manning made his Pro Bowl debut andÂ wasÂ 8-of-14 for 111 yards.
He, along with others, relished his vacation and took the occasion to bring the family to enjoy the show.
After the contest, players from both sides rejoiced the opportunity to get acquainted and play against the best the league has to offer.
But this might be the last time that we see our favorite players sporting the very trendy Hawaiian t-shirts and shorts around practice facilities.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced last week that the 2010 Pro Bowl will move out of Hawaii-where it has been held the last 30 years-to Dolphin Stadium, home of Super Bowl 44. The following location remain undetermined.
This is creating quite a stir around the league. Baltimore Ravens vocal and emotional leader Ray Lewis and others have said this week that they would prefer to keep the all star game in Hawaii. â€œI just think you take away from everything the Pro Bowl means,â€ said Lewis making his 10th Pro Bowl appereance. â€œI don’t understand it at all.â€
The NFL was not done adding some pizzazz to this weekend. Goodell unveiled his new plan to move the Pro Bowl one week before the Super Bowl in a bid to generate more hype surrounding the game.
â€œMoving the Pro Bowl to the Sunday prior to the Super Bowl can add even more excitement to Super Bowl week, one of the most anticipated weeks of the year,â€ said Frank Supovitz, the NFLâ€™s senior vice president of events.
PhotoÂ courtesy of the National Football League.