The 2012 Pro Bowl serves as a nice appetizer for football fans awaiting Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and New York Giants next Sunday in Indianapolis.
The game won't get near the amount of viewers or attention as next Sunday's Super Bowl, but still gives fans an opportunity to see their favorite players in a more relaxed playing environment.
The game is typically played in Hawaii each year -- although last year's Pro Bowl was in Miami -- and is usually a high-scoring affair that has way more offensive highlights than any semblance of defense being played. It's clear that the players don't take it too seriously -- it has no playoff implications like the MLB's All-Star game -- and is usually just a paid vacation to Hawaii for some of the NFL's best players.
This is the second year that the game will be played a week before the Super Bowl as a measure to drum up interest and ratings for the mostly meaningless game. Due to the game being played before the Super Bowl, all Giants and Patriots previously voted into the game are forced to miss the competition and be replaced.
This year also marks the first year that players will be able to tweet during the game at a designated computer area. The NFL doesn't allow players to tweet during a regular-season game, but has set aside two designated computers to allow players to create some social media buzz for the Pro Bowl.
This year's game begins at 7 p.m. EST and airs on NBC. NBC Sports is also offering a live stream of the game on its Web site, NBCSports.com.
*-Vonta Leach, Baltimore
Wide receiver *
Interior linemen *
Outside linebacker *-
Inside/midde linebacker *-
Free safety *-
Punter Shane Lechler, Oakland
Placekicker Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
,y-Montell Owens, Jacksonville
*-Adrian Wilson, Arizona Special teams
Punter Andy Lee, San Francisco
Placekicker David Akers, San Francisco
Patrick Peterson, Arizona
Special-teamer Corey Graham, Chicago
Long snapper Brian Jennings, San Francisco