The NFL Pro Bowl has come under fire of late due to the fact that most fans feel it has become nothing more than a walkthrough. It's true that it has been hard to watch at times. Even though the games are usually high scoring, there isn't much hitting and most players seem not to care very much. It's hard to blame them, though, as it would be hard to sell out for a game that meant nothing. However, players like Peyton Manning and Champ Bailey are hoping to change things in 2013 as they have challenged their peers to treat the upcoming Pro Bowl as if it were any normal regular-season game.
If Manning and Bailey are successful, they may very well save the Pro Bowl. If they're not, we could see the end of the NFL's version of an all-star game in the next few years. There are three players from the Cleveland Browns that will be gracing the field in Hawaii. Two earned their spots as starters while one took the place of a player in the Super Bowl.
Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas will be a starter in Sunday's Pro Bowl, as will placekicker Phil Dawson. Wide receiver and kick returner Josh Cribbs will also be going, taking the place of the Ravens' Jacoby Jones.
Many are saying that they won't bother to tune into the 2013 Pro Bowl, but hey, it's a Sunday and it's football, what else are you going to do? If you want to watch, here's what you need to know.
Location: Aloha Stadium; Honolulu, Hawaii
Date/Time: Jan. 27, 2013; 7 p.m. EST
TV Schedule: NBC
Odds: NFC by 2½, per Odds Shark
Interesting Facts: Last year's Pro Bowl teams combined for more than 100 points as the AFC won by a score 59-41, and both the AFC and the NFC have won the league's all-star game a total of 21 times. The last time one conference won back-to-back Pro Bowls was when the NFC won in 2008 and 2009. The last time the AFC won more than one Pro Bowl in a row was when it won in 2001, 2002 and 2003. This is only the second Pro Bowl played the weekend before the Super bowl.