Happy Hump Day! Just think if you were an NFL Pro Bowler you’d be in Hawaii right now drinking strawberry daiquiris, working on a tan while prepping for Sunday’s game. Although it’s probably more likely they’re running wind sprints and doing push ups sans daiquiris. On second thought, we’ll take our morning coffee with a cool winter breeze and no push ups.
On Wednesdays we tackle something you’ve been asking about. Today's feature is five things to know about this weekend’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii. As always, reach out should you want to learn about sports. No egos here – just facts among friends.
Telling it how it is,
The LNG Team
Five things you should know about the Pro Bowl.
- The game is viewed as a kickoff to the Super Bowl as it’s played on the Sunday between the Conference Championship games (last week) and Super Bowl (Feb 7).
- Any players who are members of the teams playing in the Super Bowl (Broncos/Panthers) cannot play in the Pro Bowl. Since they can’t play, they need to be replaced on the roster. The Panthers had 10 players nominated and the Broncos had four.
- Hall of Fame wide receivers, Jerry Rice (former 49ers great) and Michael Irvin (former Cowboys legend), will serve as non-playing captains of each team. They will pick their teams through a draft today at 7:30 pm (EST) on ESPN2.
- They may have lost but they won a spot in the Pro Bowl. The coaches whose teams lost in the divisional rounds of the playoffs are the Head Coaches for the game. Mike McCarthy of Green Bay Packers and Andy Reid of Kansas City Chiefs will try to lead their team to victory.
- Of the 86 players originally chosen, 36 of them have dropped out (14 due to the Super Bowl, others for injuries or personal reasons). Therefore 36 replacement players have been named. Here's the full roster (as of yesterday).
- Players on the winning team will receive a $55,000 bonus and the losing team a $28,000 bonus. Many players have big Pro Bowl bonuses in their contract.
You can catch the Pro Bowl live from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI on Sunday, January 31st at 7 pm (EST) on ESPN.
NBA (National Basketball Association)
- Hands off. Over the weekend reports surfaced that Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, had been sent home from a road trip with a hand injury sustained during a team activity. Then details began to surface with exactly what happened. Multiple reports say Griffin got into an argument with team assistant equipment manager, Matias Testi (who he is reportedly good friends with) while at dinner in Toronto. Griffin allegedly punched Testi in the face - twice. Both parties were sent home from the team road trip and Griffin has been diagnosed with a broken hand, out 4-6 weeks. Smooth move.
NFL (National Football League)
- Come hell or high water. Less than 10 hours after it happened, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis underwent surgery to repair a broken arm sustained in the game against Cardinals. As this is his first opportunity to play in the Super Bowl the linebacker said, “I’ll be back. I’ll be ready to go. I can guarantee that. I’m not missing the Super Bowl.” Team doctors agree he could recover enough to play Super Bowl Sunday.
- In the land down under. Serena Williams (#1) dominated Maria Sharapova (#5) in the Australian Open to reach the semifinals. She will play Agnieszka Radwanska (#4) next in the semifinals on Wednesday at 9:30 pm (EST) on ESPN2.
- Florida State agreed to settle with Erica Kinsman for $950,000. Kinsman accused then Florida State quarterback and number one draft pick, Jameis Winston, of rape in 2012. As part of the settlement, the University also agreed to make a five-year commitment to awareness, prevention and training programs for sexual assault victims. The settlement does not affect an ongoing Title IX investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Winston is currently playing in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Monday night the two best teams in the NBA played each other. With rappers Drake and Jay Z in attendance, Golden State Warriors thrashed San Antonio Spurs, 120-90. Warriors point guard and reigning NBA MVP, Stephen Curry, had 37 points in 28 minutes. No big deal.
- How were players picked for the Pro Bowl roster? According to NFL.com, The Pro Bowl players were determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counted one-third toward determining the Pro Bowl selections. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. In 1995, the NFL became the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting.