For a game that was almost canceled, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says Sunday's Pro Bowl was a relative success.
Goodell appeared on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show (via Pro Football Talk) on Monday and said he was pleased with what he saw.
According to USA Today, Goodell almost axed the game entirely. Outgoing NFLPA president Dominique Foxworth supported the notion, but changes to the contest helped convince him that the game was worth sparing.
The altered format include "un-conferenced" teams that were drafted by captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, which helped generate some fan buzz. In addition, the game allowed zone coverage and two-minute drills at the end of each quarter. (Plus, the players wore uniforms that made it look like a Tennessee-Oregon college bowl game, for what that's worth.)
Goodell said he liked the new format of the game and believes it was a success.
This likely means that the Pro Bowl has been taken off death row for now, even with concerns of players getting hurt and the financial burden of the game. The TV ratings, if strong, will also help buoy the game and keep it going.
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- Dominique Foxworth