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Pro Bowl survives another year

2013 Pro Bowl

HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 27: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants and the NFC intercepts a pass against J. J. Watt #90 of the American Football Conference team during the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 27, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

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The NFL has made it official: The Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 26, 2014 in Hawaii.

Whether the Pro Bowl would live to see another year was until today up in the air, but Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed at the end of the league meeting that the NFL is going forward with the Pro Bowl on the Sunday between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, and that it will once again take place at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, which has hosted every Pro Bowl but one since 1979.

However, the NFL is continuing to consider changes to the Pro Bowl to make the game compelling. One idea that is gaining momentum is getting rid of the AFC vs. NFC format and instead choosing all of the Pro Bowl players via the usual voting but dividing them into two teams that are picked by two captains.

“The teams are decided through a draft that could be done by a captain,” Goodell said. “To use an example from this past year that we talked about, Peyton Manning picks one team and Eli Manning picks the other team. We think some of that is going to create greater interest.”

Although everyone likes to make fun of the Pro Bowl, the TV ratings suggest that there is, in fact, strong fan interest. And if Goodell is right that the NFL’s ideas will create “greater interest,” the Pro Bowl isn’t going away.