Posted: 5:20 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
By Louis Bien
Breaking from tradition, the 2014 Pro Bowl will not pit the AFC against the NFC. Instead, two teams will be set via a draft on Jan. 21 and 22 to be televised on the NFL Network.
The Pro Bowl is undergoing a makeover in 2014. Gone is the traditional AFC vs. NFC setup. Instead, two teams will be comprised of players regardless of conference, as chosen by alumni captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders during the 2014 Pro Bowl Draft to be held Jan. 21 and 22 in Hawaii. The NFL Network will televise the Wednesday, Jan. 22 proceedings at 8 p.m. ET during a three-hour broadcast.
Players selected on Jan. 22 will consist of skill players and players playing more "glamorous" positions along the offensive line and on defense. On Jan. 21, just 22 players (11 for each team) will be selected behind the scenes from a pool of players consisting of guards, centers, fullbacks, interior defensive linemen, punters and special teamers. The rest of the eligible Pro Bowlers will be selected in prime time on national television the following day.
Rice and Sanders have the final say over who joins Team Rice and Team Sanders, respectively, but they will have some help. Joining them as captains will be four active players (two for each team) who are the top two offensive and defensive vote-earners whose teams are not playing in the conference championship round of the playoffs. Each team will have a fourth captain selected among NFL.com fantasy football players who had particularly good virtual seasons.
The Pro Bowl game itself will be played on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The final field of Pro Bowl honorees -- as voted on by fans, coaches and players -- will be announced on Dec. 27.