HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pro Bowl has been played, with Team Rice beating the unconferenced Team Deion 22-21.
The future of the game is up in the air. The NFL has yet to announce what the game will look like, where it will be played, or even if it will exist.
While that may seem grim, Commissioner Roger Goodell sounded pleased with the performance during a national radio interview on ESPN's Mike and Mike program.
"You have to admit, it was very competitive. It was exciting, fun. The players played much harder, it was real football" he said.
He continued "this nonconference competition particularly when you have to play against one of your own teammates, it added another element".
Mike McCartney of the Hawaii Tourism Authority noted another benefit to the new format.
"We got an additional bonus. The draft was a separate TV show in which we got exposure for Hawaii so it was a big plus for Hawaii this year."
While there is optimism for the continuation of the game, it's guarded. As McCartney explains "There's owners of stadiums, there's owners in the league that want the game. Hawaii has to understand if we want the game we have to compete for it, and we're ready to compete and work with the NFL".
"We're in active negotiations in the NFL. I think it's very safe to say we have to wait until after the Super Bowl. But we're going to have some very detailed discussions with them, and we feel positive that there's no better fit for the Pro Bowl than Hawaii".