No, nobody takes the Pro Bowl seriously anymore, although there are some interesting things going on for this game.
For the sixth season, this game comes between Championship Weekend and the Super Bowl, which keeps this whole "26 Consecutive Weeks of Football" going, which works. The game, however, is in the Super Bowl site of Glendale, Arizona, at University of Phoenix Stadium (not quite Hawaii).
Anyway, there are a couple things to get into about this game, so let's get to them.
- TV: This game is on ESPN. Coverage begins at 8:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM CT with kickoff (actually, about that.... see below) fifteen minutes later. Streaming coverage will also be provided via WatchESPN.
- Rosters: Selected via a draft style between Cris Carter and Michael Irvin (ask the NHL; I'd say it works). You can click here to view the rosters, the order they were selected, and how they'll line up tonight. Between dropouts and Super Bowl removals, Andy Dalton is in the game.
- Bears Connections: Martellus Bennett and Kyle Long are on opposite sides of the field. Bennett was picked up by Team Carter; Long is on Team Irvin.
- Rule Changes Still In Use From Last Year:
- First off, no kickoffs. Possessions start at the 25 yard line, and the first team is determined by coin flip. Each quarter gets a two-minute warning, and the start of each quarter switches possession. Defenses can now play press and cover two as opposed to just man. After the two-minute mark, the clock will stop if the offense does not gain an additional yard. The game clock will run on the signal from the referee after an incomplete pass except the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the game. The play clock will run at 35 seconds and 25 seconds instead of 40 and 25. And the clock will not stop on sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game.
We'll have the Open Thread for the Pro Bowl up later tonight. Did the rule changes do anything for you last year?