HONOLULU – The Pro Bowlers heard the calls of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and AFC quarterback Peyton Manning. With threats of cancellation from the league throughout the year, Manning spoke to both squads Monday night as Pro Bowl week began. Both squads took notice, especially the NFC.
The NFC romped in an entertaining, and intense game 62-35. Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph was the game's MVP. He caught 5 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown after replacing Tony Gonzalez.
"It's just an honor to be named to the roster, and to be on the field with the great players in the NFL, this is just icing on the cake" said Rudolph.
Rudolph, and others, chimed in on the quality of play in the game.
"It was good. I think guys were out there competing. And they came to win. I strongly support the game and I hope we keep it here, and we keep it here for a long time" said Rudolph.
Local Boy Max Unger added "I hope they keep it, because it was awesome. It's cool to have the best football players in the world in Hawaii. I think that's what the people want and I think the players want that too."
The Giants Victor Cruz perhaps said it best. "It definitely felt like a real game out there. It felt like guys were really in tune and guys were hitting a little bit. It wasn't just touch football out there. Guys were laying a couple of hits out there. It had the energy of a real game. My body feels like I played a real game. It was definitely different from years past."
The NFL previously stated it hopes to announce the future of the game by mid-April, when the league schedule is announced for the upcoming season.