At Sunday’s Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium, it was clear the new unconferenced format added a fresh element. The game was more defensive than in recent years with nine sacks and eight turnovers. No one scored in the third quarter, but the excitement picked up in the fourth. In fact, Deion Sanders was being interviewed with minutes left, about how it felt to be winning. Then, with 41 seconds left in the game, Dallas running back DeMarco Murray caught a 20-yard touchdown pass and clinched it with Carolina running back Mike Tolbert’s two-point conversion. The final score: Team Jerry Rice 22, Team Deion Sanders 21.
So now, the question is, will there be another NFL Pro Bowl, and if so, will it remain in Hawaii? The NFL hasn’t yet committed to either question. But in a national ESPN radio interview, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “You have to admit, it was very competitive. It was exciting, fun. The players played much harder, it was real football.”
The Pro Bowl has been here in Hawaii 34 of the last 35 years. Fingers crossed.
Here are some of our favorite moments of the 2014 Pro Bowl:
Photos by Lyle Amine and Amanda Stevens